The two future Hall of Fame QBs, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, will battle in the NFC South for their chance at the Super Bowl 55 title . CBS Sports, favors head coach Bruce Arians to win his first Super Bowl ring. But, how are the Saints, Bucs, and Chiefs still favored by the Vegas oddmakers in 2020?
The coronavirus pandemic has forced some NFL 2020 teams to host games without fans. The New Orleans Saints will have their opener in the Mercedes Benz Superdome without fans against what is now the CBS Sports favorite to win the second Super Bowl in its franchise history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Statistically, the Saints lead the series between the two, 35-21-0. During the ensuing battle in the NFC South, the teams have met 56 times since 2019. New Orleans has won 35 games and Tampa Bay 21.
CBS Sports ranked NFL coaches in 2020 based on who has the best chance of winning their first Super Bowl this season. Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers landed in the first place.
Arians has been a head coach for seven seasons and in each of those seasons, he’s come up empty in the Super Bowl department, so to fix that problem, he brought in a secret weapon for 2020: Tom Brady. If the Buccaneers will win their second Super Bowl in franchise history, this feels like the season where it could happen. Although the Bucs went 7-9 last year, a big reason for that was because Jameis Winston perfected the art of throwing interceptions. The former Bucs quarterback threw 30 picks in 2019, which is worth noting because Brady hasn’t thrown 30 picks in his past four seasons combined. Not only does Brady have plenty of Super Bowl experience, but he also has the kind of leadership that a young team like the Bucs could definitely use on the field.
Las Vegas has a different take on the Super Bowl for the Saints and Bucs, versus the opinion from CBS:
The New Orleans Saints are +1200 to win Super Bowl LV. They have been one of the NFC favorites for the last three seasons, but have fallen short every year. They have the fourth-best odds amongst teams and the second-best in the NFC behind San Francisco (+900). New Orleans has struggled to get to the Super Bowl in recent years as one of the favorites, and it could be a struggle again. NFC South rival Tampa Bay is right behind them at +1500.
There are about five or six teams that can be in the mix to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LV heading into 2020. However, it’s too early to count out the Saints to make another run. One benefit the Saints have is their schedule. Many of their tougher opponents are at home, with their toughest road game at Philadelphia. Playing at the Super Dome is always tough. Given their schedule, they can leverage that in possibly claiming home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
While the NFL forges full steam ahead with contingency plans for the regular season in just 31 days and a wake-up, Saints head coach Sean Payton expected the possibility of playing without fans in the Superdome and is prepared for the opener against the Bucs. The Dome’s reputation as one of the toughest places to play in the NFL is for a good reason.
As the Saints prepare to kick off the season on time, the difficulty Payton and the Saints could face in the home opener is the lack of fan support and the neutralization of NOISE. He told CBS Sports that he did not expect the season to start with fans in the seats and the coach was right,
“I think the biggest challenge is the stadiums and fans”, said Payton. “Just myself personally, I think that would be a much more tough challenge here as we look to kick-off the season in September. So, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the games being started on time in a much more controlled environment. And, the premium on television in watching the games, much like we're doing now with a lot of different things; that would be the vehicle in this 2020 season.”
Dome teams have a significant advantage over outdoor arena teams because the noise levels in domes are more pronounced than outdoor arenas. It requires more research and statistics to prove if having fans in the stands provides an advantage or not.
Sean Payton came to New Orleans in 2006 to revitalize the team. Without question, the Saints have built a reputation of having one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL because of loud and noisy fans. A question remained, would the NFL have fans in the stands for the 2020 season? For the Saints, the answer is no for the opening game. Coach Sean Payton expected that scenario to affect the game because the Superdome is one of the loudest arenas in the league,
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians is concerned playing in the Superdome without a crowd still presents an obstacle for Bucs in the opener at New Orleans. He is preparing his team for crowd noise to be pumped in the Superdome when the Bucs open the season Sept. 13 at the Saints. Arians told Tampa Bay Times,
Sometimes I rather wish there’s fans than piped-in crowd noise,” Arians said. “There’s a bunch of stadiums that pump that stuff in anyways, and some of them have gotten caught and some haven’t. It’ll be different, but it’s still going to be loud if they’re allowed to do it. And we’re gonna get ready for it like we always have. (With) crowd noise, we’ve always been a pretty good team as far as the silent-count offense. It hasn’t bothered us in the past so we’ll be ready for it.
If Arians can somehow win the Super Bowl this year, not only would he pick up his first Lombardi Trophy, but he’d also make NFL history by doing something that not even Belichick has ever done. The Super Bow. 55 is in Tampa, FL. If the Bucs reach the big game, Arians will coach the first team ever to play and their home stadium.
This 2020 version of the New Orleans Saints may be one of the most talented teams that Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis have assembled. The unquestioned team leader, Drew Brees will be in his 20th NFL year and is focused on finishing as a Super Bowl Champion in New Orleans. A healthy and focused Drew Brees is bad news for Tampa Bay. The road to Tampa will it be more difficult for the Saints and the rest of the NFL without fans in attendance at games. Either way, Saints fans will be along for the ride to Super Bowl LV in Tampa on February 7, 2021.