There’s no love loss between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right now. After being eliminated by the Bucs in the divisional round of the post season back in January, New Orleans will be looking to get some level of payback. That was a very emotional game that ended in the retirement of Drew Brees. Fast forward a couple of months and it’s a brand new season with a new QB under center down in the bayou. It’s the Jameis Winston era and I believe Winston will be looking for a little bit of magic against his former teammates.
If the Saints lose:
If the Saints lose, a few things happen. For one, they’ll fall to 4-3. While 4-3 doesn’t mean that the season is over, it’ll make things a bit tougher moving forward as I’m sure this team still has eyes on the post season. It would also affect playoff implications regarding homefield advantage if the Saints/Bucs end up meeting each other again in January. Also, on the other side of this, the Saints have a date with another bitter rival in the Atlanta Falcons. Losing this game would make that game mentally tougher as emotions would be higher than they already will be. Games between the Falcons and Saints seem to always be a toss up no matter of either team’s record going into the game. It would benefit the Saints to go into that game with a level of confidence being fresh off of a win against the defending Super Bowl champions.
If the Saints win:
If the Saints win, they would move on to an aesthetically pleasing 5-2 while also continuing the hunt for the NFC South. Beating the Bucs here on a national stage would not only put the league on notice, but it would also get the NFL analysts off of the Saints (and Winston’s) back. Tampa Bay has looked like an extraordinary football team up to this point, beating a team that appears to be unbeatable would only add to the level of confidence this Saints team already has. Moving on to next week with the Falcons, I’d have more confidence in that game with a Saints victory against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The Saints are currently 5 point underdogs against the Buccaneers which is an advantage to the home team. New Orleans tends to play better when the deck is stacked against them.
And how good would it be for Jameis Winston to stick to his former team and coach. With a win here, Winston could really stick a dagger in the debate as to whether or not he can be a successful leader in New Orleans.
This one is hard to predict. It can go either way. I’m going to lean towards the home team as I believe the defense will keep this a winnable game all the way to the end.
Prediction: Saints win it in the trenches. 27-24.
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