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Saints beating Buccaneers with strong defensive play in first half

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints are surprisingly beating Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, leading 17-10 in what's been an ugly game for the Bucs and their playoff hopes so far.

Jameis Winston has been largely inaccurate so far, missing several of his receivers with high throws, going four of nine for just 35 yards -- though none of his passes have come close to being picked off at least. The running game is struggling as well, with Doug Martin stifled outside of one 14-yard touchdown run, picking up just sixteen yards on five other carries. And all of that against what was the worst defense in the league coming into the game. The team's one touchdown drive needed three first downs by penalty to be sustained. A last-second field goal drive just before the half gives Bucs fans some hope.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay defense is looking like they were early in the season: the secondary is leaving some massive holes on easy zone coverages, and individual players are getting beat whenever they turn to man coverage. The defensive line is struggling to get any pressure, with Gerald McCoy limited and largely ineffectiveness with a broken hand in a cast. The Bucs have given up seven of nine third down plays, including a third-and-21 and a third-and-13.

Here's your third quarter open thread.