Latest NFL predictions for Buccaneers vs Saints game!
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+3
|New Orleans Saints||-3
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The Saints have won against the Buccaneers twice this season – by a score of 34-23 in September and 38-3 in November – so the chances of them doing it a third time in a row seem unlikely, though with Brees under center, expect the unexpected, always.
Buccaneers +3 (-103)
|Buccaneers vs Saints Information|
|What||Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints|
|Where||Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA|
|When||Sunday, January 17, 2021; 6:40 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
Head coach Bruce Arians’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers have looked better as the season has progressed, with GOAT QB Tom Brady learning a new system and getting used to his wide array of targets – WRs Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown, and TE Rob Gronkowski – and given how Brady regularly steps up in the postseason, this team looks ready to take care of these Saints.
With this possibly being Saints veteran quarterback Drew Brees’ last season (and therefore his last game), it seems likely that the future Hall-of-Famer with one of the most accurate arms in the league (70.5 completion % in 2020) will have a huge game on Sunday, bruised ribs and all, and with a healthy Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders plus RB Alvin Kamara in play, expect this final score to be big.
These two NFC rivals have met each other 58 prior times, with the New Orleans Saints winning 37 of those games and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning 21 of the games.
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The Saints love to get after the opposing quarterback, this season ranked 8th in sacks per game with 2.7, their defensive line filled with QB hungry players like DEs Cam Jordan and Trey Hendrickson who should give Brady some decent pressure in the pocket.
Brady has been sacked 21 times this season, which is considerably less than he is used to and a credit to his front line including LT Donovan Smith, but another reason he is so successful at avoiding being taken down is that he has learned to get rid of the ball quickly and now he has the talented targets who have helped make that possible.
HC Bruce Arians have created a game plan that allows this type of speedy release of the ball from Brady, so it will be fun to see if New Orleans can still figure out a way to put pressure on him regardless, something that could help keep him off the field where he is most dangerous.
Few football fans will deny GOAT status to quarterback Tom Brady, but in the conversation in terms of effectiveness under center is Saints veteran QB Drew Brees, who has put in two decades of NFL service and is rumored (again) to be ending his tenure soon, possibly after this game if he loses.
Brees has had an incredible season, taking his Saints to the postseason for the ninth time and giving them a chance to win the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy ever, that is if he can have as good of or better a game as Brady will undoubtedly have.
In last week’s win over the Bears, Brees posted 28 completions for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions while completing almost 72 percent of his passes, numbers that are incredible for most QBs but seem almost common for a sub-GOAT like Brees.
One of the main reasons Tom Brady came to Tampa Bay was because of their talented receiver corps, and arguably the best of them is Mike Evans, a 6’ 5” 231-pound beast who is fast and can get loose after the catch for extra yards.
This year, Evans has delivered another 1,000+ yard season (his seventh of seven years in the NFL), and that is off 70 receptions for 13 touchdowns averaging over 14 yards per catch, numbers that make him a key part of this Tampa Bay offense.
Despite his knee-buckling dangerously at the end of the season, Evans played well in the Wild Card win over Washington (6 rec for 119 yds) but he is currently listed as questionable due to that same injury and will most likely be a game-time decision for coach Arians on Sunday.
One of the many unique aspects of HC Sean Payton’s Saints offense is his use of a utility quarterback who is a jack of all positions named Taysom Hill, a player who can run with and throw the ball equally well.
This season, Hill filled in for Brees when the starter cracked his ribs and punctured his lung earlier in the regular season, proving with a 4-1 record as the starter that he can run the offense effectively when needed on top of all the other options he gives Saints OC Pete Carmichael.
The trouble is that Hill has a knee issue he is dealing with that has him listed as questionable for his matchup on Sunday, so even if he does play it could limit his snaps and availability, which could take away a huge part of what makes New Orleans so successful on that side of the ball.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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