Tuesday, November 29 2022

The New Orleans Saints have long been a thorn in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ side.

The AFC South rivals will square off in New Orleans on Sunday (FOX) in what has been a one-sided rivalry of late. New Orleans has won 17 of the last 21 regular-season matchups, though Tampa Bay beat them in the 2020 NFC Divisional Round. 

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, 45 and in his third season with Tampa Bay, retired and later unretired after the 2021 NFL season. And Skip Bayless said Wednesday on “Undisputed” that he believes wanting to overcome the Saints was part of Brady’s reasoning for returning.

“I told you when Brady decided to come back, which I knew he would, he talked about ‘unfinished business.’ And to me, a part of that unfinished business, even though he’s all about the postseason, starts with this game Sunday at New Orleans because he’s 0-for-4 against them in the regular season,” Bayless said. “Part of unfinished is, ‘I’m going to sweep them,’ if in fact this becomes Tom’s last year. 

“He wants to sweep the Saints by going home and away, and obviously, [the Buccaneers are] capable. But [Saints head coach] Dennis Allen has won me completely over because he knows how to un-GOAT the GOAT.”

Tom Brady, Bucs slight favorites to defeat rival Saints in Week 2

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2.5-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints according to FOX Bet Sportsbook.

The Buccaneers are 0-4 against the Saints in regular season play with Brady. They’ve been out-scored 117-53 in those games, including 38-3 and 9-0 home losses. 

Brady has been held in check in those contests, completing 61.5% of his throws while totaling a combined six passing touchdowns and eight interceptions. Star wide receiver Mike Evans — who has totaled 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of his eight complete NFL seasons — has been severely limited in those games as well, totaling a combined 128 receiving yards and eight receptions.

Allen was previously the Saints’ defensive coordinator from 2015-21 before Sean Payton stepped down.

Tampa Bay is coming off a 19-3 Week 1 win at Dallas. Brady finished with 212 passing yards, one passing touchdown, one interception and an 87.3 quarterback rating, completing 18 of 27 throws. Running back Leonard Fournette finished with 127 rushing yards on 21 rushing attempts (6.1 yards per carry).

Shannon Sharpe said he likes the Buccaneers’ chances on Sunday, specifically because of the way they ran the football against the Cowboys.

“I think with Tom [Brady] being able to do what he did on Sunday and the Tampa offense being as versatile as they were, I think this is the first time they’re going with an offense that’s versatile enough to confuse,” Sharpe said. “And so now, [the Saints] just can’t pin their ears back and get after Tom.”

Tampa Bay will be without receiver Chris Godwin due to a hamstring injury, and left tackle Donovan Smith is questionable with a hyperextended elbow. Meanwhile, the Saints are coming off a 27-26 victory on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Source: FOX Sports


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