A lot can be said of the value of these early games. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a rare prime position on Sunday. A victory in the divisional matchup with last year’s champion Saints at New Orleans means a serious push to the playoffs. Or they become .500 team or worse. Make no mistake. The Saints are by no means to be taken lightly given the play of their defense.
Will Bucs Take Control or Hover at .500?
Why this match? The Bucs need to stay on the winning side and control their own destiny at 2-2. Hovering at .500 won’t be enough to remain in contention come the end of the season when the phrase “run the table” becomes more urgent. Being 3-2 allows the Bucs control of the division and a leg up on the rest of the teams in the NFC South. As tight as it gets, a 2-0 record within the division is obviously better than 1-1 in a tight race.
Starting quarterback Drew Brees presumably returns in time for the match at Raymond James Stadium on November 17th. That is around the time when teams know if they are on the outside looking in. The best teams don’t need help from others. A victory against the Saints makes the league take notice. The September 29th upset of the Los Angeles Rams will not be a fluke. If the Bucs continue to neutralize the top running attacks of the league, then they have a fair shot at the postseason. Sunday is no exception with the explosive Alvin Kamara. Stopping him will be key.
If the Bucs win, it won’t be far-fetched to consider humoring a trade at the deadline. Perhaps they ask for some secondary help. Granted, GM Jason Licht isn’t known to make last-minute deals. If the team starts to contend, they might humor a few names like Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey. That is if he’s on the table.
Photo credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports