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Weekly Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How do the Saints fare against their divisional rival?

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

The New Orleans Saints are coming off their first loss of the season. The team blew a 17-0 lead against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter. They’ll look to rebound this week against their division rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview

This Bucs team is one that’s shocked the football world so far. Many people including myself, believed this team would be an afterthought, but they’ve remained competitive. The team is currently 2-1 after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Superstar WR Mike Evans leads the Bucs offense. The ultra-consistent receiver has gotten 1,000 receiving yards every year in his career. He’s looking to do the same this season and has started off hot with 297 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bucs are led by one of the best linebacker duos in the league in Lavonte David and Devin White. They also have one of the most underrated players in the league, Vita Vea.

New Orleans Saints preview

Saints QB Derek Carr went down this past week with a sprained AC joint. While Carr said, “I’m going to do everything I can to be out there with my guys.” I doubt he will play this week, which means the Saints will be going with Jameis Winston at QB.

While I think Jameis Winston is a great locker-room presence, he’s not a very good QB. My big issue with Winston is he can’t scan the field. He usually has one read, and if that read isn’t there, he’ll hold onto the ball and get sacked. If the team wants to win this game, they need to keep the ball out of Winston’s hands. They need to establish a fierce running attack.

The good news for the Saints is they’re getting HB Alvin Kamara back. This will hopefully create some much-needed production in the run game. The Saints are averaging a measly 3.4 YPC, which ranks 27th in the league. It will be very interesting to see how the team uses rookie Kendre Miller and Alvin Kamara.

Who will win the game?

I don’t think fans will like this, but I have the Bucs taking this divisional matchup. I don’t like the team’s odds with Winston at QB. There’s a reason Winston isn’t a starter in this league anymore. This will ultimately be the downfall of the Saints this Sunday.

The other reason I’m fading the Saints is the offensive line. This entire unit has been miserable this season. The saddest part is just how poor superstar RT Ryan Ramczyk has looked.

Rashaan Gary got the best of Ramczyk on Sunday, picking up two sacks on him. Whatever the coaches are preaching in practice isn’t working. This unit has been abysmal. Saints OL Doug Marrone could be on the hot seat if things don’t continue.

This game will likely be a defensive battle. Both of these defenses have been great this season, and I expect that to continue this game. It will likely come down to the fourth quarter and which team controls the ball longer.

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