The New Orleans Saints (5-2) travel to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL to battle the Buccaneers for sole possession of the first place in the NFC SOUTH, Sunday night. This is the second and final regular-season meeting between the two teams. New Orleans was victorious 34-24 in the team's Week 1 matchup. With playoff and division title implications on the line in Week 9 here is the Saints News Network Krewe's keys to a Saints victory over the Buccaneers.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Pressure Brady
Getting pressure on Brady is crucial, even if they don't sack him. End Cameron Jordan has 14 sacks, 28 QB hits, and 15 tackles for loss in 19 career games against the Buccaneers. Blitzing Brady often is a recipe for disaster, especially with a struggling secondary.
So the Saints will look to create disruption inside with their defensive tackles, hoping that will create one-on-one matchups outside for Jordan, Davenport, and Hendrickson. That forced Brady into vital mistakes in an opening day victory between these teams and looks to again be the defensive key to success in this critical divisional rematch.
Kyle T. Mosley
Balanced Football: Tampa Bay gives up 4 yds/carry (#23) and 102.6 yards/game (#23) through 8 games. New Orleans notches 4.2 yards/carry (18th) on 28.4 rushes/game (13th), gaining 119.3 yards/game (13th). The Giants gashed the Bucs for the first three quarters in the run game, then took their foot off the pedal. Kamara and Murray can take advantage and make an impact against the Bucs defense.
Rattle Brady with the Pass Rush: Marcus Davenport is quietly having a great year coming off early season toe and elbow injuries. PFF has Davenport (4th) and All-Pro Cam Jordan (8th) as Edge Rushers with 75+ snaps in 2020. Davenport has been instrumental in creating havoc and pressures at crucial times of the previous 3 games. Currently, Davenport is the best NFL rusher winning 27.9% of his pass rush win rates. Also, his 19.7% pressure rate is 3rd in the NFL. Jordan has not had the overall sack success as he did last season. However, Jordan had drawn double-teams and chips before Davenport returned in the Chargers game. The Saints former #1's on the edge, combined with DE Trey Hendrickson, will need to show their speed, power, and athleticism to get to Brady.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Win the Chess Match
The Saints enter this game as an underdog, and their offense is sure to deliver being at full strength. However, the focal point of this matchup is how the defense matches up against Tom Brady and company. We know the Saints defense has struggled in the past, but they've made some big strides to improve over the past several wins. This is the type of game where it's all about the chess match.
Dennis Allen needs to get his best players aligned on the best matchups possible to help put the defense in the best situation possible. New Orleans getting the pass rush going should help, hopefully forcing Brady into some errant throws and bad decisions. While the sample size from Week 1 told us a bit, these are almost two completely different teams from that game.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Take Advantage of a Healthy WR Group
The New Orleans Saints are in an extraordinary position to be the first team to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice this season. With the victory the black & gold will be the first NFL team to sweep QB Tom Brady in the history of his 20 year career. This may be the biggest game of the season for the Saints as the two teams battled for control NFC South.
The keys to victory will be a healthy Saints team with a focused defense and a full complement of receivers. Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are expected to play. The defensive secondary needs to improve this week. Drew Brees must continue the consistency we’ have seen in October. RB Alvin Kamara continues to be a major contributor on offense, so a combination of these factors should get the Saints a win. It will not be easy.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Win the turnover battle
The Saints are undefeated in 2020 when they have won the turnover battle, including a 34-24 victory in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since that battle nearly two months ago, both teams look different and have begun to find their mojo after slow starts to the season.
Tom Brady and Drew Brees are two of the smartest quarterbacks to ever play the game and rarely do they make mistakes in games of this magnitude. If the Saints want to come out victorious in Week 9 and take sole possession of the NFC SOUTH forcing Brady into mistakes will be key. It may not be a pick-6 like we saw in Week 1 but any extra possession for Brees and co. could make all the difference Sunday night.
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