The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7) will host the New Orleans Saints (10-2) who are in search of redemption and to clinch the division.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the Saints with a electrfying 48-40 victory in the season opener. The Buccaneers caught the Saints off guard with a spectacular game from veteran backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. In that game, Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards with four touchdowns through the air and one rushing. After that, the Saints went on to win ten straight games before struggling against the Cowboys a week ago.
This Sunday, the Saints are looking to rectify things with a chance to clinch the division for the second year in row. And like last season, they’ll face the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium for the division clincher. Last season, Jameis Winston threw a touchdown bomb to Chris Godwin in the final seconds to secure a thrilling victory. But, in order for the Bucs to play spoiler like they did a season ago, they must win these key match-ups.
Bucs WRs VS Saints DBs
Mike Evans versus Marshon Lattimore is a prime time match-up in its self. In the week one battle, Evans bested Lattimore with seven receptions for a 147 and touchdown. Both players like to play physical at the line of scrimmage, but Lattimore will think twice about pressing Evans without a safety help.
Evans leads the Bucs with 66 receptions for 1,121 yards and five touchdowns. But, with Desean Jackson out, the Bucs success will depend on the production of Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries.
Godwin had over 100 yards and a touchdown in a starting role against the Panthers a week ago. His 676 yards and five touchdowns coupled with Humphries 606 yards and five scores gives the Bucs options. Will they be able to win against Eli Apple and P.J. Williams.
Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram VS Bucs Defense
If the Saints are going to try and make a statement on Sunday they’ll try to impose their will with their running game. They are coming off of an embarrassing performance against the Cowboys. And, it started with their inability to run the football. Alvin Kamara was limited to 36 yards on 11 attempts while Mark Ingram only had seven attempts for 27 yards.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense has been soaring as of late but their run defense has been declining. Drew Brees is having a MVP season. But on Sunday, They have to be prepared to stop Kamara and Ingram first and foremost.
Jameis Winston VS Saints Defense
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers is on a two game winning streak and are playing their best overall football of the season. A lot of that has to do with vastly improved play from the defense. But it’s also noticeable that Winston is playing the best stretch of his career.
Winston carved up the Saints for 363 yards and threw the game winning touchdown in last season’s finale. But, in that game Winston got away with three interceptions. He has been doing a excellent job as late limiting the turnovers. That has to continue if the Bucs want chance at winning to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Rod Thurman is a contributor for Full Press Coverage covering his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Follow him on twitter @BucBoy for everything Bucs and anything football.