After beating the Rams in stunning fashion, the Buccaneers travel to New Orleans to play the Saints. Tampa Bay will try to pull even with the Saints at the top of the NFC South.
Key to winning: Containing Alvin Kamara
Tampa Bay’s defense has been incredible against the run so far. Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and Todd Gurley – three of the most dangerous running backs in the league – all failed to shine against the Buccaneers. Next up is Alvin Kamara, who ran all over Tampa Bay’s defense last season.
This year, however, Kamara will have a much tougher task in Todd Bowles’ defense. Impressively, the Bucs have allowed an average of only 59.3 rushing yards. Consequently, the Bucs have the number one ranked defense against the run. Look for Kamara to struggle on the ground, he should make some strides in the passing game, however.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin need to continue to dominate
Without a doubt, the Bucs have the most dangerous wide receiver duo in the NFL – at least statistically, that is. Chris Godwin is ranked third in the NFL with 386 receiving yards, whereas Mike Evans is ranked sixth with 368 yards. Both have caught 4 touchdowns so far this year. These numbers are nothing short of amazing.
However, the Saints have two high-caliber cornerbacks in Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple, both are former first round picks. The Saints pass defense is ranked 24th in the league. Expect OJ Howard to finally have a breakout game and a score, as Evans and Godwin could easily come back down on earth on Sunday.
Offensive line play very important
Tampa Bay’s offensive line played great last Sunday in Los Angeles. They will have to find a way to protect Winston the same way against Cameron Jordan and the Saints’ scary pass rush.
Beyond that, if the line opens lanes for Ronald Jones, who will likely receive more playing time than Peyton Barber, it will make Bruce Arians’ offense unpredictable and extremely hard to defend against.
Bucs must not underestimate Teddy Bridgewater
For the first time in seemingly forever, Tampa Bay will play the Saints being quarterbacked by someone not named Drew Brees. Teddy Bridgewater has been the starter under center for New Orleans for two weeks now, and he has not disappointed. He beat the Seahawks in Seattle two weeks ago and won at home against the Cowboys, certainly two tough opponents.
Conclusion: Bucs contain Kamara, pull out close victory
Conclusively, the Bucs end up winning another very important divisional matchup on the road. Winston will pass for two scores and turn the ball over twice. Ronald Jones will rush for over 100 yards for the first time in his career. Bucs defense will force two takeaways.
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