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Saints vs Buccaneers: What To Watch

After a rough start to their season, the Saints open at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are coming off of a rough start themselves. Here are 5 things to watch in the Saints' Week 2 match-up.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints opened their year against the Arizona Cardinals.  It was a season shrouded in mystery, especially with the injury rumors swirling around the Saints during the preseason.  However, after Week 1 it became more apparent who could play and who couldn't.  The Saints fielded a defense that struggled against the Carson Palmer led Cardinals.  Against the Buccaneers, the Saints look to clean up their defensive struggles,along with moving the ball more effectively against Lovie Smith's Tampa 2 Defense.  Here are 5 things to watch for Saints Buccaneers.

1.) Lavonte David

David is always a player to watch.  He's arguably the best outside linebacker in the NFL, and he flies to the ball on every play.  Expect to see the Saints running right more often than not, as David holds down the weakside more effectively than anyone in the league.

2.) Saints' offensive resurgence

The Saints' offense was bad against Arizona in week 1, but Arizona has a stout defense so it could potentially be forgiven.  The Saints should move the ball more effectively than a Titans' offense led by a rookie in his very first start.  If they can't, New Orleans may need to look into further shuffling their lineup, despite doing so the entire week.

3.) Safety Play

Kenny Vaccaro and Jamarca Sanford played decent in week 1, but the soft Rob Ryan zones didn't exactly let them attack the play.  With Jairus Byrd confirmed out for another week, Sanford will need to show improvement if the Saints are to stop the likes of Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, one of the bigger duos in size that they'll face during the season.

4.) Running backs in the passing game

Mark Ingram got his first career 100 yard receiving game taken away from him by being tackled for a loss on the Saints' final drive, finishing with 98 yards.  His hands out of the backfield appear to be greatly improved from the past.  If CJ Spiller plays today (and that's a pretty big if), expect to see even more swings in lieu of the traditional running game.  Sean Payton seems to be emphasize the sweep swing, and that offense was very likely drawn up with getting Spiller into space in mind.

5.) Delvin Breaux

After an absolutely abominable career open, Payton and Ryan likely have Breaux on a short leash.  He is still getting used to NFL rules, but nonetheless 4 penalties is unacceptable.  Breaux will have to work his game with a bit more finesse if he is to succeed with New Orleans.  The Saints' depth at corner is more or less shot, so until Keenan Lewis gets back from injury the Saints will have to ride Breaux.  He is better than what he showed against Arizona, but he'll have to show it in game in order to get people to buy into his game.

The Saints didn't play poorly against Arizona, that's a playoff team that got their 8-1 2014 quarterback back, on their home turf.  There's nothing to panic about, but the Saints need to beat teams that they're better than, even if they are division rivals, to prove they're real.  After losing 5 straight games at home in 2014, the Saints need to get the Dome's advantage back if they're to succeed in 2015.