By J.T. Olson
The Bucs Report
Special to Sports Talk Florida
It’s already that time of year again. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to New Orleans to take on the dreaded Saints. This is a matchup that has caused many headaches for Bucs fans in recent years.
To be more specific, the Saints have won the last seven regular season games over the Buccaneers. This has spanned over various quarterbacks, pass rushers and other key personnel. Basically, the Bucs haven’t been able to figure this team out regardless of circumstance.
However, it’s a new season. Both of these teams look different and both have new coaches at the helm. So, what will this matchup look like and can the Bucs finally crack the code in New Orleans? We took a closer look.
Saints Passing Offense vs Buccaneers’ Secondary
We all know the name; Jameis Winston is the quarterback for what looks to be an explosive Saints passing offense. We have seen the highs and lows of Winston and know that the highs can be very high. His mobility, arm strength and willingness and ability to make all the throws stand out.
He will be making those throws to a revamped group of pass catchers. 2019 offensive player of the year Michael Thomas is returning this year after injuries have derailed his last two seasons. Alongside him is the Saints first round draft pick Chris Olave who had an outstanding career with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
This combination of electric playmakers and talented quarterback play can be a big problem. Even if Winston turns the ball over, the good is very likely to outweigh the bad.
However, the Bucs secondary is also new and improved. Carlton Davis is fresh off a new contract and capable of neutralizing top playmakers like Thomas. The Bucs safety room, led by Antonie Winfield Jr, is as deep and talented as any group in the league.
Watching these top groups square off should be extremely high level football. It will be hard for either team to win without winning this specific
Buccaneers’ Passing Offense Vs Saints Secondary
One name that is noticeably missing here is Chris Godwin. After returning from an ACL injury that ended his season last year, Godwin went down in his first game back last week. This time we saw a hamstring injury take him out of last week’s game.
Even without him, the Bucs have thrived throwing the ball in recent years. That’s to be expected with multiple future hall of fames, as mentioned earlier. However, this week won’t be so easy.
The Saints secondary is also full of star power. Guys like Marshon Lattimore and Tyrann Mathieu headline what might be the best secondary in the league. This will truly be a chess game of two of the best units in the NFL.
This game will be dictated on who can throw the ball and who can defend the pass. These are both areas of strengths for these two teams and nothing will be easy. Whoever wins these matchups will most likely win the game.
At this moment, the Bucs are more proven overall. With that said, it’s hard for me to pick against the Saints until the Bucs show they can beat them. Regardless, I expect this to be a competitive game where both teams show exactly how much they don’t like each other.
Saints – 20
Bucs – 16
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