Saints defense must pressure Jameis Winston for best opportunity to win

dNEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24: Jameis Winston
dNEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24: Jameis Winston /

Who Dat Dish takes a sneak peek at the Saints upcoming Week 9 showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Superdome, Nov. 5.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had high expectations prior to the 2017 NFL Season. Some predicted them to compete with the Atlanta Falcons to be top dog in the NFC South. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they are nowhere close to meeting those expectations as anticipated.

At 2-5 they’re enduring a four-game losing streak.  Their only wins account for defeats against losing teams. Those being the Chicago Bears, who the Saints defeated 20-12 in a close game last week and the New York Giants, a team playing well below their expectations as well.

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There are some key points the Bucs are hoping for. Snapping their losing streak and defeating a team with a winning record for one. The latter would be for the first time this season. And setting a tempo to gain some ground in the NFC South.

The Saints will look to put a hold on any of the Bucs’ plans. To do that, they must protect the football on the ground and in the air. In addition to protecting the football, the Saints must convert more on third downs. Conversely they must stop the Bucs’ offense from reaping success on third downs.


Looking at it from a statistical standpoint, both teams have roughly a 38% conversion rate on third downs. However, the Saints have an advantage on the turnover differential, time of possession and ability to get to the quarterback for sacks.

Bucs quarterback,  Jameis Winston (right shoulder) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday as Saints guard Andrus Peat (hip) and left tackle Terron Armstead (shoulder) were limited in their practice duties.

If the Saints are able to limit the Bucs running attack all while forcing Winston to put the ball in the air, it can prove to be an advantage for the Saints defense if Winston’s shoulder shows to be an issue.

Peat and Armstead should be ready to go as they continue to be plugs to open up gaps for the two headed monster of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. On the other hand, Winston will be under the radar as the Saints D monitor his level to perform.

How about it Who Dats? The Saints are looking to extend their winning streak to six games as they prepare to play a Bucs team that is looking for a win for the first time in weeks.

Next: Midseason report card, Saints offense

What better way for the Saints to bring on their emerging defense, power running attack and top 10 passing attack? Relying on Drew Brees’ dominance at home as they fight for a chance to continue to maintain top position in the NFC  South?

Doing this will bring the Saints to 6-2 giving them a high grade to finish off the first half of the season.