Opening the season against all three of your divisional opponents is considered a gauntlet.
Week 2 has the Black & Gold facing off against the “GOAT” in Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints have owned Tampa as well lately, posting a perfect 4-0 record in the regular season over the last two seasons, with the lone loss coming in the playoffs.
Matt: This is going to be a game that truly plays as a benchmark for where each of these teams are. No disrespect to Atlanta, but they won’t challenge the Saints like Tampa will.
I see this game being a true war, with both quarterbacks playing great football. Kamara will make an impact, with Thomas and Olave being the key receivers.
Tied game at half.
The second half will have some defensive plays, with a strip-sack by Demario Davis and an interception from Sean-Murphy Bunting.
However, down the stretch will be time for Jameis to lead this team like we all believe he can. In the end, Will “Big Nuts” Lutz will nail a walk-off field goal to seal the deal for the Saints.
Score: Saints win 31-28
Chris: Fine, I’ll be the Debbie Downer.
Yes, I know the Saints have had the Buccaneers’ number in the regular season since Tom Brady’s arrival to Tampa. I know that Dennis Allen shutout the Brady-led Buccaneers in his lone game serving as head coach of the New Orleans Saints last season. But four games are still a small sample size and I’m afraid some of the Saints players might be getting too complacent with their ability to beat the Buccaneers.
I’ll say the Buccaneers defense is the best unit in this game, and the Saints offense struggles throughout. I could foresee a scenario where it’s 17-14 Buccaneers and the Saints are driving late with a chance to tie the game or take the lead, but Jameis Winston throws a costly pick-6, and the 10-point lead is insurmountable with just minutes left in regulation.
You can’t win every game and it would be naïve for me to predict a 17-0 season, so I’ll chalk this one up as a loss.
Score: Saints lose 24-14
Tina: Saints defense vs. Tom Brady
The Saints have Brady’s number, they keep calling and I don’t think he’s changed it yet. 4-0 against the Bucs, over the last 2 seasons. CJ “Ceedy Duce” and Brady, we all saw the memes, some bought the t-shirt. This matchup will be fun. While this week will be more of a challenge than the Falcons, this game will also be the debut of Jarvis Landry and Tyrann Mathieu at home, who no doubt will get the home crowd going and hopefully bring back some of the “Dome Field Advantage” that we have been missing the last few years.
I do think this will be a close game, but the Saints will get it done by a field goal and start 2-0 on the season.
Score: Saints win 27-24