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Buccaneers at Saints Key Match-Ups: Divisional Edition

Will CJ Gardner-Johnson make a mental impact? Who will beat Father Time? Can Marshon Lattimore do it again?

NFL: NOV 08 Saints at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is the game of a million story lines, we all know that the media was drooling when the possibility of Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees in the playoffs became a reality. It is for good reason, however, because how could we not be intrigued by the million little things that make this game interesting. Let’s take a deeper look into a couple of them.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson vs. the mental state of whoever lines up across from him

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

CJGJ has become infamous with his on-field trash talk. Love him or hate him, he has had an impact on games this season by already getting two players ejected (and one suspended on his own team). Heck, even divisional opponents Brian Hill and Russell Gage Jr. have had something to say about it recently on Twitter, out of nowhere.

CJGJ could carry this momentum into next week, and could target whoever the Bucs have lined up in the slot on a play-to-play basis. With how high powered their offense is, having CJGJ potentially get into the heads of some of them, or even have one knocked out, could be huge. The less weapons in that offense, the better.

Marshon vs. Mike in the Playoffs

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Scott Clause-USA TODAY Sports

It has been over two years since Mike Evans has caught a pass while being covered by Marshon Lattimore. Shon just seems to have his number. It’s been an up and down season for Lattimore, but he’s been on a roll. Like I stated earlier, the Bucs have an insane amount of weapons, and minimizing one’s role to seemingly be just a distraction for Marshon will be huge for New Orleans chances of victory. Now is not the time to change things up. Will we see Mike Evans try something new against him? Will THIS be the matchup where we see punches thrown? Every time they line up across from each other it’s must-watch TV.

Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and the fight against Father Time

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you think this season has been without turmoil for the NFL’s two oldest QBs, you are delusional. Both have had times where they look like their normal selves, but also a wealth of times where they look their age. Brady’s worst actually came against this Saints defense in Week 9. Now Brady has finished the season on a tear; however let’s look at who those games have been against. Since their last loss, the Bucs have faced, Vikings (27th defense), Falcons twice (29th defense), and the Lions (32nd defense.) Brees has not looked himself to end the year, but to be fair to him, he has obviously been injured. Both QBs will want to be on their A-game to take advantage of the fact that coverage is a big weakness for both defenses in this game. Who can hide their age better through executing their team’s gameplan?


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