The 2022 season hasn’t lived up to expectations so far for this New Orleans Saints (4-8) team as they currently sit in last place in the NFC South and out of the playoff picture as we start the month of December. The Saints will close out their season series against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6) on Monday night before they spend week 14 on the bye week.
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Game Information:
Current Records: New Orleans Saints (4-8) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)
Date/Time: December 5th @ 7:15 p.m. CT
Where: Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, FL.
Where to Watch: ESPN (Commentators: Play-by-Play Joe Buck, Analyst Troy Aikman, Reporter Lisa Salters)
Spread: Buccaneers (-3.5)
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Series History:
New Orleans holds the series advantage against Tampa Bay in the regular season, 39-22. The last meeting between the two teams came earlier this season in week two where the Buccaneers upended the Saints in New Orleans, 20-10.
Previewing the Saints Heading into Week 13:
New Orleans will hit the road for back-to-back games as the Saints are coming off a 13-0 loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. The offensive woes for the black and gold continued against a stingy 49ers defense on the west coast. The Saints offense piled up 260 total yards of offense on the day, but wasn’t able to put points on the board.
The running game continued its down stretch as New Orleans was only able to pick up 63 total rushing yards on the day. The leading rusher for the Saints was Andy Dalton as he had four carries for 21 yards. Alvin Kamara continues to struggle to get it going on the ground as he only rushed for 13 yards on seven carries. Kamara fumbled the ball twice on the day that spoiled the Saints drive on both occasions.
On the other side of the ball, the defense was able to keep the Saints in the ball game as San Francisco only scored one touchdown on the day and that came before the half as Jimmy Garoppolo found Jauan Jennings for a five-yard score. New Orleans’ defense was able to limit the 49ers to big plays on the ground as the 49ers only racked up 96 rushing yards on the day. Christian McCaffrey was limited to only 32 rushing yards on 11 attempts.
It was the first shutout for the black and gold since the 2001 season, ending a 21-year stretch. Being shutout is never something that you want to see and the Saints will look to rebound on Monday night against the Buccaneers. The injury report heading into the matchup against Tampa Bay continues to be filled with key players on the DNP (did not participate) list.
The following players that were on the list were: J.T. Gray, Juwan Johnson, Malcolm Roach, Bradley Roby, Kentavius Street, Payton Turner, Kevin White and P.J. Williams. The Saints listed a season-high of 15 players on the injury report heading into the week 13 matchup against Tampa Bay. There should be improvement as we get closer to Monday night, so there is a chance that we see key players return for New Orleans.
Scouting the Saints Opponent: Buccaneers
The Saints and the Buccaneers last saw each other in week two of this season where Tampa Bay took down New Orleans, 20-10. Turnovers were the story in that game as Jameis Winston threw three interceptions, one of them was a 68-yard return for a touchdown to put the Buccaneers up 20-3.
The Buccaneers were able to have success against New Orleans in their prior matchup as their defense was able to shut down the Saints offense for the majority of the game. The Saints offense did outgain the Buccaneers in total yards of offense, but the Buccaneers was able to win the turnover battle, five to one. Mark Ingram and Chris Olave fumbled in that game to add to the turnover deficiency.
Tampa Bay currently sits at the top of the NFC South heading into week 13 and they are coming off a disappointing 23-17 loss on the road to the Cleveland Browns in overtime. Cleveland was able to rally and pull off the upset win over the Buccaneers. Chris Godwin was a positive sign in that game for the Tampa Bay offense as he hauled in 12 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown.
The Buccaneers controlled most of the game, but the Browns was able to seal the deal in overtime after Nick Chubb scored the game-winning touchdown. It has been a rollercoaster of a season for Tampa Bay, but they will look to get back on track against the Saints.
Like New Orleans, Tampa Bay had some key players listed on the DNP list for Thursday’s practice. Those players were: Cameron Brate, Mike Edwards, Vita Vea, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Tristan Wirfs. Wirfs is expected to miss three to four weeks due to a hip injury he suffered against Cleveland. Leonard Fournette was also getting close to returning as a full participant at practice and Russell Gage was a limited participant after missing several games throughout the season.
Prediction for Saints @ Buccaneers:
Both teams got off to a rocky start to the year as both teams will be looking for a much-needed win after suffering a loss in week 12 to their respective opponents. The offenses for New Orleans and Tampa Bay have been a hit-and-miss throughout the season. The Saints are technically still not out of the NFC South race with Tampa Bay and Atlanta losing last week, but New Orleans will be in need of a winning streak.
The Saints defense have been able to have success against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the regular season. New Orleans can’t afford to have five turnovers like they did against Tampa Bay in the previous matchup. If the Saints want to win this game, Kamara has to be able to get going for this Saints offense. New Orleans can’t rely on putting it all on Dalton, they have to be able to mix it up against a scrappy Buccaneers defense.
Brady and the Buccaneers will complete the sweep against New Orleans on Monday night in what will be a defensive battle between the two NFC South foes.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20, New Orleans Saints 13