After surviving a hard-fought battle in Chicago, the Saints turn their attention to Tampa Bay. What are their chances in the most important game of their season?
It wasn’t pretty, but the Saints were able to pull out an overtime victory against the Bears. With a 5-2 record, they were able to survive not having their top two receivers in Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
Week 9, however, presents a far greater challenge to the Saints: the 6-2 Buccaneers. When these two teams faced off in Week 1, New Orleans was able to win by multiple scores by virtue of turnovers and fundamentals.
However, since then, Tampa Bay has had time to get in sync with one another, which is why many consider them the favorites to win the NFC. After all, they have the second-highest average scoring margin (10.2 points) in the NFL and have multiple impressive blowout victories on their resume.
The Saints, on the other hand, have just a +1.3 average scoring margin and have yet to win a game by more than six points.
The amount of leverage in this game is immense, per Timo Riske of Pro Football Focus.
If the Saints lose this game, they’ll be 1.5 games back in the division and will have very little margin for error. A win, on the other hand, would not only put them ahead in the division but would also give them a crucial head-to-head tiebreaker.
Given that both of these teams have pushed their chips into a Super Bowl run with quarterbacks over the age of 40, having the tiebreaker would be huge for New Orleans.
For that reason, this is going to be the most important game of the Saints’ season. Can they slay the streaky Bucs on Sunday Night Football? Let us dig deep into this exciting primetime affair!