The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The Bucs will take on the New Orleans Saints at home on Sunday night. Former All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown is set to make his debut with the Buccaneers. Brown was signed by Tampa Bay just a week ago and is no longer suspended by the NFL. This matchup will be against the top two passing touchdown leaders in NFL history. Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady currently holds the record for most career touchdown passes with 561. However, Saints quarterback Drew Brees is right behind Brady with 560 career passing touchdowns. Here is the preview of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints matchup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints Preview
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints will enter Raymond James Stadium with a 5-2 record and are coming off of a 26-23 overtime win over the Chicago Bears. The Saints will be taking on their division rival for the second time this season. New Orleans defeated Tampa Bay 34-23 in Week 1. The Saints will be led by their head coach, Sean Payton, who’s been their head coach since 2006. Their offense will be led by a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Brees. But the former Purdue quarterback hasn’t looked like himself this season. He has completed 73.1% of his passes for 1,898 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions.
While the Saints might not have their best version of Drew Brees, their star running back Alvin Kamara has been their best player this season. Kamara is the leader for the Saints in rushing and receiving. Kamara has rushed for 431 yards on 87 carries and has scored four rushing touchdowns. As a receiver, Kamara has 55 receptions for 556 yards and three touchdowns.
The good news for the Saints is they expect to get back their top receiver Michael Thomas. He has missed the past few weeks due to a suspension for disciplinary reasons and injuries. Thomas played a huge role for New Orleans last season and even broke the record for most receptions in a season.
On defense, the Saints have been pretty solid but will face a tough matchup against a hot Buccaneers offense. The Tom Brady the Saints will face on Sunday night won’t the one they saw in Week 1. Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins and linebacker Demario Davis are the lead tacklers for the Saints so far this season. Jenkins and Davis both lead with 42 tackles. However, Jenkins has one more solo tackle than Davis. Jenkins and Davis both have two sacks on the season. Former FAU Owl Trey Hendrickson leads the Saints in sacks with 5.5 and tackles for loss with 6.5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look for revenge after their loss to Saints in the beginning of the season. The Buccaneers will be led by their head coach, Bruce Arians, who is in his second season as the Bucs head coach.
The Bucs offense will be led by the greatest quarterback in NFL history in Brady. The former Patriots quarterback has continued to look like one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. This season Brady has completed 66.2% of his passes for 2,189 yards with 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. Ronald Jones II is the leading rusher for the Buccaneers offense. Jones has rushed for 529 yards on 117 carries and has four touchdown. Former Pro Bowl running back Leonard Fournette is the second leading rusher for the Bucs with 225 rushing yards on 50 carries and two touchdowns. Slot wide receiver Scotty Miller is currently the leading receiver the Buccaneers. Miller has 25 receptions with 400 yards and two touchdowns. But Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans leads the Bucs in touchdowns with seven. The Buccaneers also have wide receiver Chris Godwin and they added future Hall of Famer tight end Rob Gronkowski this off-season.
The Buccaneers offense has shown what they can do, but their defense is also ranked in the top tier of the NFL. Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked seventh in the NFL in points per game (20.6). The unit is led by their superstar linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White. White is the lead tackler on the team with 68 on the season (45 solo). He also has five sacks and leads the Bucs with 9.5 tackles for loss. David has 60 tackles (44 solo), 1.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups and an interception. Jason Pierce-Paul is the Bucs sacks leader with 6.5.
Five Saints Players To Watch
- Alvin Kamara
- Malcolm Jenkins
- Drew Brees
- Demario Davis
- Michael Thomas
Five Buccaneers Players To Watch
- Tom Brady
- Lavonte David
- Antonio Brown
- Jason Pierce-Paul
- Rob Gronkowski
Sunday night will show how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints second matchup of the season winds up playing out, but here are five predictions.
- Tom Brady throws for over 250 yards with three total touchdowns.
- Alvin Kamara has over 150 yards of total offense.
- The Buccaneers defense forces two turnovers.
- Malcolm Jenkins has over ten tackles.
- Buccaneers defeat Saints 28-23.