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Saints at Buccaneers Key Matchups: Ready for Lattimore/Evans 2

The New Orleans Saints are getting ready for round two against the impressive Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This might be not only the biggest game of the season for each team, but the biggest game between the two teams in their head to head history. It doesn’t just make for a showdown featuring the two of the greatest quarterbacks of the last decade, but it’s a display of two NFC Juggernauts in 2020: The New Orleans Saints stand at 5-2, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers puff their chest out at 6-2.

These teams have a lot more than meets the eye. We’re not talking about Drew Brees or Tom Brady. There’s Alvin Kamara, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, and even Michael Thomas might return! This is like Christmas day in early November.

Let’s take a closer look at these two NFC powerhouses and unravel where the key matchups lie!

Marshon Lattimore vs Mike Evans

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest: Marshon Lattimore and Mike Evans have this game circled on their calendar. There’s been bad blood between the two players since Evans took a cheap shot at the back of his neck/head area after a play a few seasons ago. In Week 1, that rivalry was shown true when Lattimore got an unnecessary roughness penalty for getting under his skin of Evans after the play.

Outside of personal competition to the fullest extent with Lattimore and Evans, this is the most important matchup for the Buccaneers offense. Evans is Brady’s main target and the Buccaneers are made to push it down the field. If Brady can’t pick on Lattimore, who’s been bench worthy at times, he’s being forced to attack the brighter spot on the saints secondary, also known as Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins is the same corner that took 6 points the other way against Brady.

All in all, This game will be a high scoring affair. Brady will need Evans to do better than his one reception for 4 yards in Week 1.

Cameron Jordan vs Tristan Wirfs

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

If you looked at the Week 1 matchup for Cameron Jordan, you would be surprised with the outcome afterwards. The All-Pro DE Cameron Jordan got to line up on the rookie Tristan Wirfs in and out each play. What happened? 0 sacks. Tristan Wirfs shut down Cameron Jordan.

Since Week 1, we have learned a couple things. For 1. Trey Hendrickson has been the most consistent edge rusher on the Saints. For 2. We realized something was off with Jordan when Mercedes Lewis (Tight End for Green Bay) was physically dominating Cameron Jordan multiple times.

I’m not sure what the issue is with the fan favorite, Cam Jordan. Nonetheless, he’s lined up against young youngster on Sunday Night Football, again. With an anticipated blood bath between the divisional squads on Sunday Night Football, we ought to see Jordan not leave victorious unless the dead rise out of their graves. He has the craft and tool set in him, he just needs to pull it all together in this huge showdown.

Andrus Peat vs the Buccaneers interior D-line

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Andrus Peat has been a loose cannon in 2020. We hear rave compliments of his effectiveness on pulls and his contact at the line of scrimmage. Then the wheel spins and it lands on Peat whiffing on a DT beating Peat in a passing play and blowing up Brees or forcing Brees to make a bad turnover.

Peat is really the key to this whole orchestra. When the Saints won the Super Bowl with Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, many forget that the Saints had Jahri Evans and Carl Nick upfront at the guard position. The 6’0 signal caller needs a clean pocket to step up into and read the defense accordingly. The tackles are crucial for protection, but Brees will either get sacked or know he’s likely to get sacked when pressure is off the edge. When the vision is skewed in front of him, he will often try and force the pass if he can get it off. This often results in pivotal turnovers.

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