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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints - NFL Week 1

America’s Game of the Week

Sunday
September 13, 2020
4:25 PM ET

New Orleans, Louisiana
Mercedes-Benz Superdome

About the Buccaneers

All eyes will be on QB Tom Brady as everyone is curious to see how he will perform in the Bruce Arians system. Arian’s approach to the passing game, “no risk it, no biscuit”, seems to fit well with what Brady wants to do. He has a plethora of weapons to throw the ball to, and not just ordinary weapons. Pro Bowl WR’s Mike Evans and Chris Godwin along with TE O.J. Howard and Brady’s former running mate with the Patriots, TE Rob Gronkowski, fresh out of retirement. All of them should get ample opportunities to touch the football as Brady loves to spread the wealth. The latest press release revealed that WR Mike Evans is doubtful for the opener and Justin Watson, Scott Miller, Jaydon Mickens, or rookie Tyler Johnson could capitalize on the opportunity to play in Evans' absence. Newly acquired RB Leonard Fournette gives the offense a physical change of pace runner who can wear down a defense. The Bucs defense should be good especially in the front 7 with NFL sack leader Shaquil Barrett and DL Ndamukong Suh who is very powerful and can shed blocks beat double teams and get to the football. There is some concern about the youth in the secondary, especially facing off against QB Drew Brees at home where he chews up opposing defenses and spits them out.

About the Saints

The window of opportunity is closing for this team as QB Drew Brees is now in the twilight of his illustrious career. The team has all of the pieces in place for a run at the Super Bowl and head coach Sean Payton will have his team focused, poised, and ready to rock and roll. RB Alvin Kamara, a 3-time Pro Bowler with excellent balance and good vision is a threat in the running game and also in the passing game. WR Mike Thomas has definitely lived up to his nickname, “Can’t Guard Mike”, as he has set the NFL record for most catches by a player in his first 4 seasons with 470 and also holds the record for most catches in a single season with 149. Pro football focus gives the Saints a #2 ranking among the offensive lines in the NFL and considers OT Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk to be the best tackle duo in the league. The Saints also signed one of their former players in S Malcolm Jenkins to help solidify the back end of the defense. Jenkins was a member of the Saints Super Bowl-winning squad in 2010.

Players to Watch

Donovan Smith (Buccaneers): Will smith be able to adequately protect Brady’s blindside, especially in close games? Smith will be critical to the Bucs success and it’s imperative that he performs well.

Emmanuel Sanders (Saints): Sanders is a game-breaker and can change a game with limited touches as he possesses the innate ability to take any given play the distance. He is an explosive play waiting to happen.

Impact Rookies

Tristan Wirfs (Buccaneers): He is very athletic for an offensive lineman and figures to start immediately. He will face a tall task of trying to slow down DE Cameron Jordan and LB Demario Davis from getting to Brady.

Ceasar Ruiz (Saints): Ruiz brings versatility and depth to an already talented offensive line unit. He is also capable of playing any position along the line.

Key Statistic

The Saints committed the fewest turnovers in the NFL last season with 8 total.

Prediction

Tom Brady and company will put up a decent fight, but just like everybody else, they will find it impossible to defeat Brees in the Super Dome.

Final Score: Buccaneers 35 / Saints 48

Daniel I. Outerbridge

Daniel I. Outerbridge

A contributing writer with aspirations and ambitions to become a sports journalist.

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