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Buccaneers vs. Saints: First Viewpoint

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The first major test for the New Orleans Saints 2022 campaign comes this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFC South opponent. The game is slated for a noon kickoff in the Caesars Superdome. In Week 1, New Orleans pulled off their biggest comeback in franchise history when they defeated the hated Atlanta Falcons 27-26. The Saints rallied from being down 16 points in last week’s rollercoaster game. Quarterback Jameis Winston finished the day with 269 yards and two touchdown passes. His teammates Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas combined for 13 catches, 174 yards, and two touchdowns. The stakes will be much higher this Sunday when the Bucs come to town. A victory would give the Saints an early lead in the division. Here are a few things to pay attention to in Sunday’s big game.

What to Lookout For

Saints O-Line Versus Tampa Bay’s Defensive Front

The scouting report indicated that the Falcons’ defensive line was projected to be among the weakest in the National Football League in 2022. But what the Falcons put on a tape last Sunday tells an entirely different story. Atlanta’s defensive front manhandled the Saints’ o-line for most of the game. It wasn’t until New Orleans switched to their infamous two-minute offense that Atlanta’s pass rush stopped sending pressure. Will that be the case this Sunday? Because if so, the Buccaneers’ defense will be able to do far more damage compared to what the Falcons did last Sunday.

The Continued Progression of Jameis Winston

One of the biggest takeaways from the Saints come from behind victory last Sunday was the growth of Jameis Winston as a quarterback. After being sacked four times and no chemistry being developed with the wide receivers, Winston would settle in and make the proper adjustments. If things are not clicking from the start, he must have the same mentality this Sunday against the Tampa Bay. We never saw Winston play an entire game against his former team, the Buccaneers. He was on his way to a breakout game last year until a horse-collar tackle by Devon White ended his season.

The Element of Attack

In each of the Saints’ games against the Buccaneers with Tom Brady under center, Sean Payton and his coaching staff were highly effective in attacking both sides of the football. New Orleans has been so efficient at pulling it off that it baffles many national pundits. So how will the Saints disarm Brady and the entire Buccaneers football team this Sunday? What weaknesses will Pete Carmichael find within Tampa Bay’s 3-4 defense that no one is paying attention to? Will the Saints’ pass rush generate enough pressure to get past a weakened Buccaneers offensive line and disrupt Tom Brady? Those are some of the many questions that we will get answers to this Sunday when facing Tampa Bay. New Orleans is currently 4-0 against the Buccaneers under the Brady era for the regular season.

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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