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Key Matchups: Saints vs. Buccaneers

Saints are looking to start 2-0 in the NFC South in 2023.

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints are ready to get back on the gridiron for the chance to put last week’s loss behind them. Their opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, would love nothing more than to make the Black and Gold 2-2 through their first four games.

Let’s look at the big matchups to watch inside the Superdome:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Marshon Lattimore vs Mike Evans

This is always a must-see matchup when these two get together. Last season, Evans and Lattimore got into it, mostly due to Evans being frustrated that he can never catch a pass against Lattimore. With the way the Saints have played defensively to open the season, I expect Lattimore to completely lock down Evans once again and keep the Bucs’ top target out of the game.

New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Derek Carr vs Saints offensive line

Derek Carr suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. However, after a week of rest and just one practice on Friday, Carr looks like he could suit up and play. The question now becomes whether or not he could be protected by his offensive line? Carr has been sacked at least once in every game so far, so there’s no question that the line will have to be better. The real question being asked now is can they improve quickly?

NFL: New Orleans Saints Training Camp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Alvin Kamara vs game rust

Kamara hasn’t played in a game since the end of last season. The Pro Bowl running back has spent the first three games of the 2023 season suspended for a bar fight in Las Vegas during Pro Bowl weekend in 2021.

Now as he prepares to take his first snaps, how rusty will he be? Everyone knows there’s a difference between game reps and practice, so we’ll see how long it takes AK to get rolling, but he should be more than rested and prepared to help this team down the stretch.

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