Week 5 has shootout written all over it, and the New Orleans Saints must keep pace with the NFC South’s best offense.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a high-powered offense, and the New Orleans Saints have a formidable defense. However, flip the script, and it’s more of the same. The Saints have had a mediocre offense without Brees and will face an underwhelming Bucs defense.
Given the dynamic nature of New Orleans offense, when fully healthy, and the dominant displays the Bucs offense has put on, we could be in store for a shootout. This could be similar to the first time the two teams matched up last season.
Early in the 2018 season, the Saints-Bucs Round 1 put up 88 combined points. The Saints came up on the losing end, signaling one of the team’s mere three regular-season losses. They did beat the Bucs by two touchdowns the second time around.
As for that early September game, Kamara went for just 29 yards on the ground yet combined with Michael Thomas for over 290 through the air. However, it was Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the charge for the Bucs, not Jameis Winston who they’ll see Sunday.
In that matchup, the Bucs receivers had their way with Marcus Lattimore and Ken Crawley. It was DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, both eclipsing 140 yards through the air. This time, the Saints will have to prepare for arguably a more dangerous threat in Chris Godwin.
Two of Godwin’s four games have been a 100-plus-yard performance, one of which was over 170 yards. Godwin and Evans make up one of the most lethal wide receiver duos in the entire NFL. But, let’s not act like the Bucs will be the only team with an elite offense.
While the Saints have more field goals than touchdowns, they do have top-tier weapons. Thomas and Kamara are two of the best at their respective positions. They must get the ball in the end zone this week.
However, this game will be won by Sean Payton, mainly because he’ll be forced to put Teddy Bridgewater, who is filling in the injured Drew Brees, in comfortable positions. He can’t operate in the pocket or navigate the like Brees.
And, if we know anything, it’s that New Orleans must be able to drive the ball competently.
At the same time, it may be a rather low-scoring outing. After all, the Saints held Dallas, who scored 30-plus each of the first three weeks, to a mere ten points. This game could be a hectic, touchdown-filled game, or it may be a gritty game much like we saw in Week 4.
But, if the Saints’ defense does, in fact, let the dynamic duo of Godwin and Evans going, they’ll be forced to match that offensive production. Week 5 could certainly be a shootout, something fans should be prepared for.