The New Orleans Saints (1-0) looked like they were going to start off the season in the losing column before they completed a 27-26 comeback against the Falcons. The black and gold will welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) in their home opener on Sunday afternoon.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints Game Information:
Current Records: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) @ New Orleans Saints (1-0)
Date/Time: September 18th @ 12:00 p.m. CT
Where: Caesar’s Superdome; New Orleans, LA
Where to Watch: FOX (Commentators: Play-By-Play Kevin Burkhardt, Analyst Greg Olsen, Reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi
Spread: Buccaneers (-2.5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Series History:
New Orleans has the series advantage over Tampa Bay with a record of 39-21 in the regular season. The two regular season meetings in 2021 between the two squads was in favor of the black and gold. The Saints took the game in New Orleans, 36-27, and in Tampa Bay, 9-0.
Previewing the New Orleans Saints Heading into the Home Opener:
The Saints got off to a sloppy start in Week 1 when they were down 26-10 with 12:41 left in the fourth quarter. New Orleans struggled on the offensive side to find their rhythm against a Falcons defense that was able to force pressure against Jameis Winston.
Outside of the Taysom Hill touchdown drive, the Saints weren’t able to move the ball effectively against Atlanta’s defense. New Orleans’ offense was able to get it going in the fourth quarter as Winston became more poised in the pocket.
Jameis Winston finished the game throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns. One of Winston’s favorite targets in the fourth quarter was Michael Thomas. Thomas, in his return, hauled in two touchdowns to help the Saints come back against the Falcons.
Jarvis Landry was also a bright spot in the black and gold offense as he hauled in seven receptions for 114 yards. New Orleans was able to chip away at Atlanta’s lead before taking it for good on a 51-yard field goal by Wil Lutz.
The Saints defense got off to a sluggish start in the first half. They were unable to stop the Falcons running game. Cordarrelle Patterson had 22 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown. Atlanta’s offense was able to move the ball effectively on the Saints defense for nearly four quarters.
After a 27-yard field goal by Younghoe Koo, the Saints were able to shutdown the Falcons offense to allow their offense to strike back.
The Saints can’t afford a slow start against a Tampa Bay team they have dominated in the regular season for the past three years.
Scouting the Saints Opponent: Buccaneers
The Buccaneers were able to start their season 1-0 after a road victory against the Dallas Cowboys, 19-3. Tampa Bay were able to get their new head coach, Todd Bowles, his first win as a head coach in Tampa Bay.
Leonard Fournette was the highlight of the night for the Buccaneers offense as he had 21 carries for 127 yards. For the passing attack, Tom Brady had 212 yards and a touchdown.
Brady’s lone touchdown on the night was a five-yard touchdown to Mike Evans who made a spectacular grab to put Tampa Bay up 19-3.
The Buccaneers defense was able to hold a Dallas offense in 2021 that averaged 32.1 points per game (PPG) to only three points on Sunday night. The lone points for the Cowboys came at the 9:02 mark as Brett Maher nailed a 51-yard field goal to give Dallas an early 3-0 lead.
After the 3-0 lead it was all Tampa Bay the rest of the way. The Buccaneers defense held the Cowboys offense to 244 yards of total offense (173 passing yards and 71 rushing yards. Devin White was the leading tackler for Tampa Bay’s defense with eight tackles (seven solo tackles).
Prediction For the Saints Home Opener vs. Buccaneers
The matchup between the Buccaneers and the Saints has been dominated by New Orleans in the regular season. The Saints defense have been able to create problems for Tom Brady and the offense.
The last time the two teams met was in a 9-0 shutout win for the Saints in Tampa Bay. New Orleans was outgained in this matchup (302 total yards of offense vs. 212). The Saints were able to win the turnover battle two to zero.
The black and gold seem to have the winning formula against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay offense. Dennis Allen and the defense will be able to serve match.
The key for the Saints defense will be limiting Leonard Fournette from having a big game on the ground. Cordarrelle Patterson was able to have success against New Orleans defensive front. Another key is that the offensive line has to be able to effectively protect Jameis for four quarters.
It will be beneficial for the Saints offense to start off hot in week two against the Buccaneers. If they want to start 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the NFC South, the offense can’t afford another slow start.
Prediction: Saints 24, Buccaneers 20
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