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Numbers to Know: Saints versus Bucs

How can New Orleans rebound and keep its playoff hopes alive?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints are hanging onto their playoff chances by a thread as they head into their Week 16 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here are three numbers that could impact Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay.

117 Passer Rating

What does this mean: Baker Mayfield’s passer rating when the Bucs faced New Orleans in October

Why should I care:

The Saints made Baker Mayfield look like Tom Brady last time they played. Actually, make it Johnny Unitas because the Saints did much better against Tom Brady than they did against Baker Mayfield in October. In that game, Mayfield was 25/32 with 246 yards and three touchdowns. He has been a pleasant surprise for the Bucs this season and has certainly exceeded expectations. He will be a serious challenge to stop, especially without cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Hopefully, New Orleans can pressure Mayfield like they were able to against Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants.

19 Yards

What does this mean: Alvin Kamara’s rushing yards against the Los Angeles Rams last week

Why should I care:

Alvin Kamara was supposed to be the key to victory last week, but instead, he was a non-factor. He rushed for 19 yards on just nine carries. Why? I don’t know. It seems that Kamara had zero room to run and was thrown right up the gut every play call. We know that Pete Carmichael doesn’t know how to use Kamara, but this was a different level. Kamara will need to have a bounce-back performance against a team whose defense is red-hot.

Four Turnovers

What does this mean: Turnovers forced by Tampa Bay against Jacksonville last week

Why should I care:

The Bucs dominated every aspect of the Christmas Eve game against the Jaguars, but they especially dominated the turnover department. The Bucs forced two interceptions from Trevor Lawrence and additionally forced two fumbles. The Bucs have a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of a shaky New Orleans offensive line and force errant throws from Carr and make it a very long day for him and Pete Carmichael. If the Saints want any chance of a win, Carr will need to quickly get the ball out and run the ball far more efficiently than they did last week.