Saints game has much more at stake than the Eagles loss
Buccaneers were expected to lose by national media
Let’s face it; if you were not a Tampa area resident and or a Bucs fan, you probably had the Bucs losing in their Monday Night matchup with Philadelphia. Losing is exactly what the Bucs did as Baker Mayfield committed his first turnover of the season. It didn’t help the matter when Rachaad White allowed the football to be punched out, giving the Eagles another chance to inflict damage. In the long run of an NFL Season, the Eagles’ loss really has no bearing. It is what the team was mostly expected to do against a Super Bowl Caliber team. A win, of course, would have spoke volumes, but that didn’t happen. What’s more important is this week’s road game in the Big Easy. The Bucs begin their divisional slate against their biggest rival. The game looms even larger with former Buccaneer and first-round overall draft pick Jameis Winston possibly at the helm for the Saints. There has been no word yet if Derek Carr will be behind center or not after being injured in their last game. As it stands, Winston will get the go against the team that made him a first-round overall selection in 2015. The Bucs now have another number one overall behind center, both of them winning the Heisman as well.
Saints are a thorn in Bucs’ side
It’s no secret that the Saints, more often than not, have our number. In the last 14 meetings against the Saints, the Bucs have won 5 of those contests. While Tom Brady was behind center in Tampa, the Bucs played the Saints 7 times. The Pewter Pirates were only able to win 3 of those games, with one of the three coming in the playoffs of their Super Bowl 2020 season. I think it’s safe to say that very few teams, if any, have a winning record against Tom Brady throughout his storied career as the Saints do. Throw out the rosters, the records, and whatever else matters in most matchups. This is a true rivalry game and could go either way fast. It could be a blowout like it was during our Super Bowl season run. The Saints came into Tampa that 8th of November and put it on the Bucs, in a wipe-out 38-3!!! The teams first met in 1977, and since then the Saints own a record of 39-23 in the regular season against the Buccaneers. It is their best record against any team that they have played at least 8 times. So, as that statistic shows, The Saints have reason to be optimistic anytime they go up against the Bucs. Having said all that, the Bucs do enjoy a two-game win streak, having defeated them in both games last season. Keep an eye on the Marshon Lattimore and Mike Evans matchup. Since 2017, these two have gone at it, resulting in ejections and suspensions for both players. It’s understood that these two teams, in just about every way, do not like each other in the least. It has come close to a full-out brawl on several occasions. The Saints even put together an impromptu music video, gloating over one fairly recent win. Jameis Winston can be seen dancing around and acting the fool during a portion of the clip. So, yeah, there’s no brotherly kumbayah around the campfire for these division foes.
Big game for Baker Mayfield
I said earlier that the Eagles’ game really didn’t mean all that much in the long term this season. The Saints’ game, though, is the exact opposite of that. It is immensely important for the team as a whole, and even more so for Baker Mayfield and his future in Tampa. This game is why Mayfield was signed to play here. The Bucs have gambled on Mayfield being able to shed his past and step up to deliver wins in these kinds of divisional matchups. If the Bucs lose this game and then go on to better success the rest of this season, it doesn’t matter much. If, in fact, they lose, coupled with more losses in games they could have won as the season goes on, it won’t bode well for Mr. Mayfield. Wins over the Vikings and Bears don’t much matter if you are losing divisional games and are not leading the NFC South. The Bucs should be expected to win games against the Falcon playoffs. So get your wings, ribs, and suds ready; two teams tied for the South Division lead will square off on Sunday. One will go home with a leg up on the division; the other will sit at .500, searching for answers. Let’s hope the Bucs are the former and not the latter. Go Bucs!!