The New Orleans Saints will be hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for round 3 of their NFC South rivalry following their 21-9 win over the Bears on Sunday. The Saints offense started very slow against Chicago, only scoring 7 points in the first half, but got points when they needed them late in the second half. So let’s see what stood out for the Saints in the Wild Card round.
Up: Deonte Harris
Deonte Harris picked a good time to have a career game, catching a career high 7 passes for a career high 83 yards in his first game since Week 11 against a certain team from Atlanta that isn’t in the playoffs. Harris of course made a lot of plays after the catch, as he put his All-Pro level return skills on display in the Saints passing attack.
If Harris can continue to develop as a pass catcher and route runner, he could easily be one of the more dangerous receivers in the league. Tre’Quan Smith possibly returning next week against the Buccaneers could open the field up for Harris even more going into the Divisional round. Hopefully Sean Payton will get him involved more than his other obsession.
Deonte Harris possibly just broke the news that Tre'Quan Smith could come back next week— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) January 11, 2021
Down: Taysom Hill
Hill had a rough game on Sunday, gaining only 20 total yards on 6 touches, and even fumbled once setting up the Bears in plus territory. This fumble set the Bears up to score their only points of the day until garbage time on a Cairo Santos 36-yard field goal.
Taysom Hill was the Saints leading rusher in Week 9 against the Bucs, so here’s hoping he can get back on track next week. If he does, it will be yet another weapon for Brees in the arms race that has been going on between the Saints and Bucs this year. Just no more pass attempts please?
Up: Saints defense
The Saints defense held a Bears offense that was perhaps playing it’s best football of the year to just 9 points. Six of which came in garbage time on the last drive of the game, and the other 3 came off a fumble that started their drive at the Saints 24. In fact, other than the Taysom Hill fumble and the garbage time drive, the Bears only crossed midfield twice on Sunday. They forced seven punts and five 3-and-outs, allowing only 11 first downs on 10 Chicago drives.
Saints defense doing their part pic.twitter.com/9OsR4bH7Zz— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) January 11, 2021
This is a great sign going into the Divisional round against Tampa, who has scored 31+ points in each of their last four games. We know the Saints defense can play well against the Buccaneers, but Antonio Brown has finally gotten heavily involved, and Tom Brady is always a tough out in the playoffs.
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