What to Watch For: Buccaneers vs Saints

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It’s officially Spooky Season and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to face off against the New Orleans Saints. The NFC rivals will face off against each other for the first time this season and what better day than Halloween? Former Buccaneer quarterback Jameis Winston will finally face his former team as the starter for New Orleans. Lets take a look at things to watch for come Sunday.

Familiar Face

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t bring up the Saints’ new starting quarterback Jameis Winston. The former number one overall pick for the Buccaneers will finally get a chance to take a shot at the Buccaneers starting defense for a whole game. Buccaneers players have already stated that they are excited about the matchup.

The key for the Buccaneers defense will be to get pressure on Winston when he drops back to pass. While he hasn’t had a turnover-filled game just yet, he has not faced a defense as talented as Tampa Bay’s. Currently, the Buccaneers are tied for second with 10 team interceptions.

Forcing turnovers is a direct correlation with the pressure the front has been consistently creating this season. If the defense for Tampa Bay can make Winston uncomfortable, look out for those negative plays that viewers have been accustomed to seeing from the former Buccaneer.

Where is Devin White?

Linebacker Devin White is the team leader in tackles, as expected. The main thing missing so far this season has been the splash plays. He has yet to record an interception or a forced fumble. He is also yet to record a sack despite having eight quarterback hits.

The last time he played the Saints it was in the Divisional round of last season’s playoffs. In that game, he recorded the biggest stat sheet of his young career. He ended the game with 11 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 interception. Those plays helped beat the Saints and send former Saint Drew Brees into retirement.

White will look to play up to the atmosphere come Sunday and if he plays well, the Buccaneers get one game closer to a stranglehold on the division lead.

Divisional Importance

Sunday’s game will have major implications for each team. Currently, the Buccaneers hold a slight lead at 6-1 while the Saints have a 4-2 record. New Orleans doesn’t have the national confidence as the Buccaneers but they are still an extremely talented squad and their defense has been a thorn in the Buccaneers side for the past few years.

The Saints are still led by defensive stars Marshon Lattimore at cornerback and Cameron Jordan at defensive end. Historically, Lattimore has been a sort of kryptonite to wide receiver Mike Evans throughout their matchups. This week he will be lined up with Evans again, so the passing offense will have to be led from wideout Chris Godwin.

Last season, not counting the playoffs, the Saints routed the Buccaneers in their two matchups by a combined score of 72-26. Quarterback Tom Brady has a knack for getting his revenge on teams that thought they had his team’s number. Led by the future Hall of Famer, the Buccaneers will look to put on a far better performance than the two they showed last season.

Week 8

Halloween will be an exciting day for NFC South fans as they get to watch Saints captain Jameis Winston attempt to get some revenge on his former team. On the other hand, The defending champs have the division title in their sights as they haven’t won it since 2007. With a hungry defense led by linebacker Devin White, the Buccaneers will look to repeat the defensive performance from last season’s playoff matchup.

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