Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7) vs. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
What’s up, everyone? I got my Buccaneers Snuggie on but I am not comfortable. I am not warm. I am not fuzzy. I am pissed. The Buccaneers win two straight games and all I can think about is the missed opportunities. Tampa lost four games this season by less than 5 points, three of those games by 3 points. They went into New Orleans week one and dropped 48 on the Saints. This season could have gone so differently. I should be posted up with my pewter pillows and my mini-cannons firing off at my mouth towards Falcons fans but I’m not – okay I am – but I should be doing it while the Bucs’ record is 9-3. The Bucs could have hit my prediction of 10 wins this season but they turned the ball over too much, they missed too many kicks, and they beat themselves too many times. They. Missed. Opportunities. They have the talent to finish strong and an opportunity to provide fans hope for next season.
What you need to know:
The Buccaneers injury report looks much better this week than last as far as the number of players listed. DeSean Jackson, Justin Evans, and Jason Pierre-Paul are all listed as “did not participate” on Wednesday and Thursday. I am concerned to see JPP listed as “DNP” again. Hopefully, he gets in a limited or full practice Friday. JPP leads Tampa with 11.5 sacks, tied for 4th in the NFL. Bucs ex-defensive coordinator Mike Smith was fired after the Falcons game week 6. From week 7 Tampa ranks 2nd in the NFL in sacks and has made huge strides defensively. Over that span, they are tied for 3rd in third-down percentage allowed and 10th in passing yards allowed. The offense has been making plays all season. The defense is making plays now. I was wrong about firing Mike Smith, it should have happened sooner. Did you know only two players have recorded at least 3 interceptions in a game since 2012? Buccaneers safety Andrew Adams did it last week against Cam Newton:
— Still NFAC (Mike Osborne) (@stillnfac) December 2, 2018
Tampa is a pass-first team and ranks 1st in the NFL in total offense and passing offense but 26th in rushing offense. The Saints defense is 30th against the pass but 1st against the rush. These are strengths against weaknesses and that makes for interesting football. The Buccaneers are 10th in scoring; however, New Orleans is tough to score on, they rank 13th in points allowed. New Orleans top pass rusher Cameron Jordan has 10 sacks. New Orleans is 5th in the league in sacks and they will try and pressure Jameis into making mistakes. Winston is playing phenomenal since Ryan Fitzpatrick’s benching versus the Giants. Winston is completing 72.6% of his passes over that span and has thrown 760 yards with 6 touchdowns versus 1 interception and no fumbles. He has also added 88 yards rushing. Something has clicked for him.
I imagine Drew Brees is still pissed from week 1. I’d bet my life he is pissed about last week’s performance. New Orleans’ offense is unreal. Their total offense is 6th, the rush offense is 9th, pass offense is 12th, and they are 2nd in points scored. Scary good. The game will be decided late.
I am not going to predict the Saints lose two games in a row, I’m not crazy. I am going to predict that the Saints win 28-24 and hope that I jinx them into losing because that’s how a guy in a Snuggie rolls.
That is it for me. Thanks for reading. Our comment section will be going through some changes soon to make commenting easier until then you can try and hit me up below. Follow me on twitter @stillnfac. #GoBucs #NOSvsTBB
P.S. Check out my article from last week on Buccaneers break-out wide receiver Chris Godwin: Godwin Season’s Greetings