Previewing the New Orleans Saints’ Week 9 matchup against the Bucs

Tom Brady (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Tom Brady (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Saints Defense vs Bucs Offense

Good offenses beat good defenses, but what about a good offense against a bad defense? By all metrics, the Bucs have one of the better offenses in the NFL, and a huge portion of the credit has to go to Tom Brady:

The most impressive part about Brady’s production is that he has done so while adapting to a new play-caller and has done so with an injured receiving corps. Now, assuming Chris Godwin is healthy, he’ll be throwing to:

Chris Godwin

Mike Evans

Antonio Brown

Rob Gronkowski

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If you just gulped, you’d be justified. The Saints rank just 20th in yards/pass attempt allowed and have been particularly vulnerable to explosive passes. Now, they will have to deal with THREE superstar receivers, a revamped Gronkowski, and an MVP candidate at quarterback.

For perspective, New Orleans has struggled against Nick Foles, Teddy Bridgewater, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr. In other words, this could get ugly.

Their saving grace may actually be Bucs head coach Bruce Arians.

It was apparent in Tampa Bay’s last outing against the Giants how often he wanted to slow the game down and run the ball on early downs, and since the Saints have a strong front seven in run defense and rushing the passer, that’ll lead to unfavorable third downs.

If Tampa Bay comes out firing, however, I don’t see how New Orleans is able to stop Godwin, Evans, Brown, AND Gronkowski.

In the end, the Saints’ best defense is going to be their offense scoring as many points as possible. They benefitted from turnovers in Week 1, but now with Tampa Bay more acclimated and Brown in the picture, there is tremendous reason to be pessimistic about their chances of slowing down Brady and co.