The New Orleans Saints look to bounce back from an embarrassing loss last weekend to the Atlanta Falcons when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. For the Saints, life has been good, even though they had to play several games without Drew Brees for the first time since he arrived as the starting quarterback 14 years ago. They sit at 7-2 with a higher-ranked scoring defense than offense, and the best receiver in the game in Michael Thomas. Alvin Kamara has been in and out of the lineup, but now that he is healthy, the offense is totally good to go, and Latavius Murray can take people by surprise as the backup running back again.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, put its four-game losing streak to bed after holding off the Cardinals last week, improving to 3-6. They have scored better than 20 points in all of their games since Week 1, proving to be one of the most impressive offenses in the league. Jameis Winston also has a turnover problem, so even when they move the ball down the field, they are prone to giving it right back without putting any points on the board.
The spread for Sunday’s game favors visiting New Orleans by 5.5 points, while the over/under is set at 49.5. If you are looking for moneyline wagers, it is NO -250 and TB +200.
Saints Look To Get Back To Winning
Coming off a game they probably want to forget about versus a struggling Atlanta team, the Saints hope they have it out of their system. It was the first home game in the Brees era in which they failed to score any touchdowns. They had won six in a row prior to that game, even though Teddy Bridgewater had several games under center. In just nine games, Thomas has 86 catches (without a drop) for 1,027 yards and four scores, as dangerous a receiver as this game has ever seen. He’s up there as an all-time great with his production to date.
Cameron Jordan, meanwhile, has been menacing up front, recording eight sacks to date with 14 QB hits. As a team, the Saints have 25 sacks, while their own QBs have been taken down just 18 times.
Two In A Row?
We have not seen Winston lead the Buccaneers to any sort of winning streak this season, so this is another chance for them to do so. They are facing a rattled team that had no business losing their game last week, so we’ll see if they can capitalize. Winston has 17 TDs and 2,765 yards, but he has fumbled 10 times and been sacked 34 times. He has thrown 14 picks, and his accuracy is going to have to be significantly better. We’ll see what Bruce Arians’ club can do. His second-year running back Ronald Jones has been much better.
Shaquil Barrett has been terrific with 11.5 sacks, though the Buccaneers have only 21 as a team. They released former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves, so we’ll see how the secondary looks.
Saints Get Back On Track
A loss is coming for the Bucs, who will fall to 3-7 on the year. Brees time!
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