New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Back to the Basics for the Black and Gold


Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey (43) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 42-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been ugly so far for the New Orleans Saints as they continue to try to turn things around this season before it’s too late.  With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game approaching, it looks like the Black and Gold may need to focus on the basics in order to seal the win and boost the team’s confidence heading into the bye week.

The Saints have been uncharacteristic all year.  The lack of possessions, bad starting field position, giving up turnovers, not forcing turnovers, not tackling well and not getting off the field on third downs all go hand in hand as Coach Sean Payton explained during Wednesday’s press conference following practice.

As for the starting field position, the way the NFL kickoff rule is set now, it’s tough to really get anything more than a spot on the 20 yard line.  Payton continued on explaining that most of the kickers these days are good enough to get the ball deep in or even out of the end zone, forcing the return man to take a knee.  Of course, nobody is blaming the team’s lack of production on rule changes, but it would be nice to start on the 40 once in a while.

The Saints will need to fix these things before their dreams of making the playoffs are shattered.  Having division rival Tampa Bay at home this week could be good practice at repairing the lack of fundamental play that has destroyed the first quarter of the season for New Orleans.  However, the Bucs did manage to go into Heinz Field and upset the Pittsburgh Steelers last week via a last minute Mike Glennon touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson.

My optimism has not run out, but the Black and Gold will need to rebound and enter the bye week with a win.  Looking at the past, the Saints have had their way with the Bucs at home in the Superdome, so any reason to believe they won’t on Sunday is unnecessary in my book.

Like I explained last week, the team is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.  Doing so against a divisional opponent heading into the the Week-6 bye could be just the medicine New Orleans needs.

It has obviously been a rough start for the franchise and the city, so let’s see if we can mend the nitty-gritty and get back on track to being a great football team.  Keep the faith, Who Dat Nation — it’s still early and we’re still the Saints.