After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stole the victory in Tampa to end last season, what’s it going to take to pull this one out in the Big Easy?
It has been a long time coming but we’ve made it to week one of the NFL season. Your Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin the season on the road with an important division game against the Saints. It seems like every time the Buccaneers take on the Saints we see the same thing, a New Orleans offense that moves the ball at will. Whether or not the Bucs are successful at changing that pattern this Sunday will be heavily dependent on the defensive line.
It’s well known that the Buccaneers pass rush was abysmal last year, but just how bad was it?
Tampa Bay ranked dead last in QB pressure last year and according to Football Outsiders they were only able to apply pressure on 26% of pass plays. Obviously, if they weren’t getting pressure they weren’t getting sacks. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed a league worst 22 sacks while having 605 passes thrown against them, that was good for third most in the league. You don’t have to do the math, I did it for you. That’s just one sack for every 28 passes attempted against them. That has got to change if the Bucs want to take out Brees and company this Sunday.
In two games against New Orleans last year the Bucs recorded three sacks by three different players. None of those players are on this years roster.
If it feels like Drew Brees has been carving up the Buccaneers defense for the past decade its because he has been. This will be his 12th year with Saints and if you’re anything like me this guy gives you nightmares. When given time to throw Brees is a killer, there is no other way to put it. In the 2017 Brees was the 7th ranked quarterback when not pressured. Combine that with how poorly the Buccaneers secondary has been as of late and things could get ugly. The revamped defensive line has to be front and center on Sunday. While Brees is great without pressure, he doesn’t fare so well when the heat is on. Brees was the 25th ranked QB last season when he was under duress. The gameplan must be: Disrupt Brees early and often and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.
Drew Brees against Tampa Bay in the 2017 Season
Stop the run!
The Bucs weren’t quite as bad against the rush last year as they were against the pass. However, they were far from great. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ranked 23rd against the run last season. With New Orleans using their running backs more, the Bucs will have to play better in that area Sunday. It would be nice to have rookie Vita Vea on this field this week to help with the run stuffing but barring a miracle, that’s not going to happen. It will be up to Beau Allen and Gerald McCoy to clog up the middle this week. Jason Pierre Paul and Vinny Curry are both above average against the run for defensive ends. The Bucs should find success slowing down the Saints this week. Yes, New Orleans has the dynamic Alvin Kamara, but they are without Mark Ingram the teams true bell cow back.
Saints Rushing Offense against Tampa Bay in the 2017 Season
|Attempts||Yards||Yards Per Carry||Touchdowns|
Step up to the plate.
If they can make Brees uncomfortable in the pocket and come away with a few sacks and maybe, pressure him into an interception they will win this game. Players like Brees and Alvin Kamara are always going to put up good numbers. That being said, a well timed sack or tackle for loss in the run game can swing this game in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers favor. Look for it to happen this week and look for the Bucs to bring home a win.