New Orleans was able to cap off its trip to Atlanta with a last-minute win over the Atlanta Falcons. This weekend’s game for the Black and Gold will be in the Caesars Superdome as the Saints will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their home opener. Here are five things to look out for in this Week 2 matchup:
1) HOW WILL THE SAINTS DEFENSIVE LINE AFFECT BRADY:
When Tom Brady made his way to the NFC South, he’s gotten sacked and has been under constant pressure by the New Orleans defense. The Saints didn’t generate much stats last Sunday against the Falcons, but the Bucs’ offensive line is dealing with a few injuries. Starting center Ryan Jensen and guard Aaron Stinnie are on injured reserve while left tackle Donovan Smith is listed as questionable.
2) LATTIMORE VS EVANS:
Ever since Marshon Lattimore came into the league in 2017, his most famous matchup has been lining up across from Mike Evans. These two have had plenty of back-and-forths, with Lattimore being considered the winner the majority of the time. It’ll be interesting as another go-to assignment for the Saints’ cornerback in former Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who is also in Tampa. So we may see Lattimore change throughout the game between the two pass catchers.
3) THE INITIAL SAINTS OFFENSIVE GAME PLAN:
Against the Dirty Birds, the offense of the Saints looked flat, had no creativity, and the protection package looked lackluster. Once they went into a two-minute mode in the fourth quarter, everyone was in sync. Will Pete Carmichael scheme up a plan for New Orleans to get off to a fast start and take the early lead?
4) SAINTS RUNNING BACKS VS TAMPA BAY LINEBACKERS:
Alvin Kamara will likely have a limited role if he even plays at all. If Kamara doesn’t play Mark Ingram will become the Saints’ lead running back and Taysom Hill may be sprinkled in the run game. The Buccaneers have a really good group of linebackers in Lavonte David, who’s played at a high level for most of his career and is excellent in pass coverage. Devin White plays alongside him and he is everywhere on the field whether he’s creating havoc in the backfield or disrupting the opponent’s passing plays.
5) THE AMOUNT OF PRESSURE IN THE SAINTS BACKFIELD:
From what we saw in week one, the Saints had some protection issues and Jameis Winston was under pressure for most of the game. The Bucs sacked the Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks four times on Sunday night and have had recent success against New Orleans in the pass-and-run game.
Kickoff in New Orleans is set for 12:00 p.m.