3 Things to watch in Week 1: Bucs vs. Saints
Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season contains many storylines from around the NFL. However, there are a plethora of storylines for the NFC South opener between the Saints and Buccaneers on Sunday. From Brady and Gronk’s reunion to the beginning of what could be Brees’ last ride. Below are three things to watch in Week 1 between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brees v. Brady VI
Sunday will be the sixth career meeting between the two QBs that place first and second in NFL history in career passing yards. Brees leads the all-time series over Brady 3-2. However, only one of those victories came as a member of the New Orleans Saints. The lone win as a member of the Saints came during their Super Bowl Championship season in 2009 when they defeated the New England Patriots 38-17. Brees has thrown for 12 TDs, 1 INT with a 116.1 QBR in those six matchups.
Tom Brady leads the charge for the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their first test comes against the three-time defending NFC South Champion, New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees and the Saints are in a “Super Bowl or Bust” season. Brady and the Bucs want to live up to their off-season hype by the media. This contest will feature two of the GOATs at quarterback in a game setting the tone for the rest of the season in the NFC South. This should be fun.
Alvin Kamara's First Game "Back at 100%"
This offseason, Saints RB Alvin Kamara, revealed that he played the majority of the 2019 season with a torn MCL. The injury came in Week 6 in a victory at Jacksonville. Saints RB Coach Joel Thomas told the media in August the 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year is “back to 100%”. Kamara echoed this, saying, “I feel good. I’m back.”
In six career games against Tampa Bay, Kamara has found outstanding success averaging over 110 scrimmage yards per game. Kamara averages 1 TD per game in his career against the Buccaneers.
A Silent Superdome?
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected and changed the look of sports in America more than we could have imagined over the last six months. The pandemic took a tremendous toll on the state of Louisiana and especially the City of New Orleans. The Saints will not host fans in the Superdome for Week 1 because of the pandemic. Louisiana Governor Edwards has allowed the Saints organization to reopen the Superdome in Week 3 against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Saints fans, the Who Dat Nation, gives the Saints one of the most dominant home-field advantages in the NFL. Although the league has approved artificial crowd noise at 70 decibels, multiple Saints mentioned that the pumped-in noise would not compare to the roar of the Saints fans and faithful inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
An empty Superdome without fans for a Saints game is nearly impossible to imagine. Yet, on Sunday afternoon, it will happen. It will be a drastic change for the fans, media, and players. But, the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region are not only passionate about their Saints, but they are also resilient. 2020 will mark and "new norm" for the average NFL fan. In 2020, Saints fans will find new ways to cheer for their team in Black and Gold. Hopefully, this season's journey will end with a win in Tampa for Super Bowl 55.
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