While America finishes digesting their Thanksgiving dinner and the Black Friday hangover is finally defeated, Jeff Garcia will be leading his Tampa Bay Buccaneers to battle against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium.
With a win on Sunday, the Bucs will move to 5-0 at home. The Bucs will be 9-3 and possibly a game clear in the cluttered NFC South with Carolina visiting the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau.
The Saints defeated the Bucs 24-20 in Week One at the Superdome and own the overall series lead 20-13. Garcia was outplayed by Drew Brees in the opener and threw an interception with 44 seconds remaining to secure a Saints victory. With a strong home crowd and the playoffs in their sights, the Bucs will win this game; I said it here, 35-24.
The Buccaneer's schedule doesn't get any easier after this week as they visit Carolina in Week 14 and visit Atlanta in Week 15 before returning home to host the disappointing San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to finish off the season. With victories in at least three of those five games, the Buccaneers should secure a playoff spot in the cluttered NFC.
A veteran of 14 seasons, Garcia is a four-time Pro Bowl selection (2000, 2001, 2002, 2007) and has played in important games before—winning the Grey Cup MVP with the Calgary Stampeders in 1998. If Garcia continues to play as well as he has been, there is no reason the Buccaneers can't win three of their last five contests.
In my personal opinion, Garcia will need to complete about 70-percent (61.8-percent career) of his passes the rest of the season to give the Bucs a NFC South Championship. His fellow veterans will need to help. Warrick Dunn needs 75 to 100 yards per game and Antonio Bryant needs to gain big yards to ensure success.
Oh, and before I forget, my choice for Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa :
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 Pittsburgh Steelers, 17
MVP: Jeff Garcia
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