The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints will square off today in New Orleans in a matchup of 1-0 teams hoping to seize early control of the NFC South.
Here is a look at the Buccaneers’ difficult matchup against the New Orleans Saints in their second game of the 2022 campaign.
Similar to Tampa, the Saints also defeated Atlanta by a score of a 1-point comeback, but they did so in a far more dramatic fashion. They fought back from a 16-point deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but let’s be honest—given Atlanta’s superior talent—they never should have been behind. Some observers were probably stunned by the highly regarded Saints defence’s 26 points and 420 total yards allowed.
However, the Saints always appear to be prepared for Tampa Bay, regardless of the circumstances.
Are you aware that the Buccaneers haven’t defeated the Saints in a regular-season game in almost 4 years? In this intra-divisional rivalry, the Saints have won the last 7 meetings in a row. Tampa Bay was completely shut out in the previous matchup we had with them. Nothing in this game is assured, so we cannot look past it and anticipate an easy victory.
How do the teams compare to last year’s?
Our offensive game plan will probably be focused on establishing the run, short to medium passes, and perhaps deep shots where we keep our running backs behind Brady to block due to injuries along our offensive line and their demonstrated ability to pass rush.
The game may not be the most entertaining in the world, but these players create a lot of pressure and use it to force mistakes, so we must play shrewdly given our weak offensive line. Maintaining Tom Brady’s composure is crucial for this game and for our season as a whole. The upside to that is that Atlanta’s offence dominated in that area versus the Saints.
With 5.5 yards per run, Cordarelle Patterson was able to escape for 120 yards. If our running backs can have similar success, we will know that Brady is a lethal player who can read a defence fast and proceed through his progressions. Our ability to maintain Brady’s protection will be crucial, especially if Donovan Smith, Brady’s blindside protector, is unable to play because of the hyperextended elbow he suffered in last week’s game against Dallas.
While their offence is active, a lot will rely on whether their star running back Alvin Kamara, who is recovering from a rib injury after their victory against Atlanta, will be able to play. When it comes to the run game and receiving the ball out of the backfield, Kamara is a game-changer for the New Orleans offence. The Saints will probably look to Mark Ingram II and Taysom Hill in a variety of ways to get the offence rolling if Kamara is limited or unable to play. It’s also important to note that Latavius Murray was recently added to their practise squad.
Their quarterback, Jamies Winston, is someone we are all familiar with. Winston is a quarterback with high risk and high reward, but in Week One, he handled the ball fairly well. Michael Thomas, a great veteran, and Chris Olave, a potential breakout rookie, were not his preferred targets in the first week. Actually, it was Jarvis Landry, a transfer from the Cleveland Browns. To make Jamies commit errors, our defence will need to really concentrate on applying pressure.
Applying pressure and limiting the run will be crucial to pushing their offence press into bad decisions, opening up the possibility of a turnover. Our secondary should be able to stay up with the Saints receivers, just like they did against the Cowboys in a magnificent Week One performance.
Will our pass rush be able to handle the task? Shaq Barrett had the top pass rush victory rate% in the NFL last week, as evidenced by the tweeted chart below. So you can be sure he will be prepared!
Despite the fact that this is an away game, which we must not disregard, I think we have a great chance to end New Orleans’ run of victories over us.