Welcome everyone to the latest game preview for the New Orleans Saints! This week, we look at the Saints matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
Last Week: Tampa Bay’s offense was stymied last weekend by the Carolina Panthers with a 17-3 loss at home. The Saints had a bit of a scare last Sunday against the Chicago Bears, but were able to come away with a 20-12 win.
Last Meeting: In last year’s games between division rivals, it was a series split with both teams getting a win in their respective home stadiums. The Saints hold the overall series lead 31-19 and have won three of the last five matchups.
Storylines to Watch:
Trap Game? While the Buccaneers have been towards the bottom of the rankings around the league, this team has a chance to derail a Saints team that has been on an incredible roll. When you look at Tampa Bay’s roster, there’s a lot of talent, especially on defense with a couple of former LSU Tigers on the roster.
With that being said, the defense can only do so much and the Bucs will need to get some things done offensively if they want to keep it competitive against a Saints offense that has started to look like a well-oiled machine.
Youth Factor: Looking at Tampa Bay’s roster up and down and there’s a ton of youth on this roster. Obviously you’ve got Jameis Winston as the quarterback, but there’s a ton of other players that have less than five years of experience being a major part of the Bucs’ gameplan.
The Buccaneers will need to use that to their advantage, especially when it comes to getting pressure.
Ball Control: In last week’s preview, I mentioned that the Saints needed to have better ball control. That was more in reference to Drew Brees throwing a couple interceptions early on in the Green Bay game. This week, it’s Mark Ingram that is getting some of that heat after committing two fumbles in the fourth quarter that, if not for an incompetent Chicago offense, could have ended up as a loss.
Ingram mentioned after the game that he would make it up to everyone on the team and has a chance to do so this week. Ingram has had some issues with fumbles in the past and has been able to fix the issues the following week. Whatever he did in the past is exactly what he needs to go ahead and do that to get back in the right mindset.
New Orleans Will Win If:
The Saints will get their sixth straight win if the offense can continue to fire on all cylinders. While the Buccaneers defense looked solid last week against Carolina, allowing 254 yards of total offense, the team that Tampa Bay is facing this week is starting to look like a different kind of monster with a more balanced strategy being implemented offensively.
Tampa Bay Will Win If:
The Buccaneers can come away with a big win on the road by forcing turnovers in enemy territory. One of the big breaks for the Saints in the last couple of weeks has been when they committed turnovers, it was deep in their opponent’s territory. It sound simple, but the Saints have an offense that can do a lot of different things to really flip the field position. The Bucs will need to really get at Ingram and try and pop that ball out every time he touches the football.