The New Orleans Saints will face off against the Tamp Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, here is who has the edge at each position.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to come to New Orleans this Sunday to open up the season. The Saints are facing one of the most improved and exciting teams in the NFL. Here is how they stack up position by position with each other for this Week 1 showdown.
How can you pick between two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks playing each other? They both have resumés a mile long and are both close to being retired. I gave the edge to Drew Brees here as he’s led the league in completion percentage for three straight seasons.
Running Back: Saints
The Buccaneers had a late addition to this match up adding Leonard Fournette who was released by the Jaguars. Even with the pair of Fournette and Ronald Jones, I still give the edge to one of the best pass-catching backs in the NFL — Alvin Kamara.
Wide Receivers and tight ends: Buccaneers
The best receiver on either team is obviously Michael Thomas. He set an NFL record last year. However, when you take the first two of them combined, Godwin and Evans rank ahead of Thomas and new acquisition Emmanuel Sanders.
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If you were to just look at the careers of Jared Cook and Rob Gronkowski, you would say that the Gronk is better. This year, the Gronk came out of retirement to play for another team and another coach. Cook is set to have a better single year than Gronk.
Offensive Line: Saints
New Orleans had one of the top three offensive lines last season, and they are returning everyone besides Larry Warford who they replaced with a first-round pick. They will continue to be the best offensive line in the NFL this season barring injuries.
Defensive Line: Saints
New Orleans edge-rushing pair of Jordan and Davenport are a better pair than Gholston and Suh. Last season, Jordan had 15.5 sacks — the most of the four. Also, Sheldon Rankins is one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
The linebacker position is the group that I think will be the weakest for New Orleans this year. The Buccaneers have a solid group of linebackers with Lavonte Davis, Shaquil Barrett, and Devin White. They are one of the best groups in the NFC.
Cornerbacks and safeties: Saints
Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis are two unknown cornerbacks by anyone. The Saints, however, employ one superstar cornerback and one above average. Malcolm Jenkins said that they are one of the best pairs he’s ever played with.
New Orleans brought back in Malcolm Jenkins after the departure of Vonn Bell in the offseason. Pair him with Marcus Williams and you have a talented duo. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, have a rookie Antoine Winfield Jr. and Jordan Whitehead.