Saints vs Buccaneers: Who the experts are taking in Week 15?
By Kristen Wong
In regular season, Tom Brady’s Bucs have yet to defeat the New Orleans Saints. He’ll get his best chance to do so in Week 15.
New Orleans will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a prime-time national stage matchup that could determine the NFC South champion.
If the Bucs win this game, the division title is theirs, and it will be their first NFC South title since 2007.
How fitting that the Bucs have to go through the Saints, who have won the division for the past four years in a row, to claim their long coveted prize.
This matchup may not be as competitive as last time, when NOLA came away with a thrilling 36-27 victory. In fact, we’re predicting a fairly lopsided game — not in favor of the Saints.
History is on the Saints’ side: Arians is 0-5 against NOLA since 2019 and Brady is 0-3 since last year. But Tampa Bay could rid their demons once and for all in Raymond James Stadium, where the Bucs haven’t lost a single game.
Here’s what the experts have to say about Week 15:
Expert picks for New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Justin Bales (Pro Football Network) – Bucs 31, Saints 17
- Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) – Bucs 27, Saints 23
- Josh Schrock (NBC Sports) – Bucs 27, Saints 23
- Wes O’Donnell (Bleacher Report) – Bucs 27, Saints 20
It’s a little surprising that experts are picking the Saints to score at least twice this game given the state of their mediocre, wide receiver-less offense.
All but one predicted a close one-score game, too, but the Saints’ touchdowns might very well come in garbage time, when the game has already been lost.
Bales of Pro Football Network criticizes Taysom Hill the most, as he rightfully should:
"New Orleans’ offense becomes significantly more one-dimensional with Hill starting. They’ll focus heavily on the run, and he doesn’t have the arm to stick with Tom Brady and Co. in a shootout."
Prisco of CBS Sports suggests this is a must-win game for the Saints’ postseason hopes, but New Orleans’ defeat feels inevitable.
"The Saints need this in the worst way for playoff survival. They are playing a second straight road game after beating the Jets on the road last week. The Bucs beat the Bills, but the defense was so-so in that one. The Saints beat Tampa Bay earlier this year with Trevor Siemian at quarterback. This will be Taysom Hill, but it won’t matter. The Bucs will win it, but it’s close."
The Saints, one game below .500, will be in mediocre shape come Sunday night: Alvin Kamara has returned to save the day, but Taysom Hill (still) can’t throw, and their offense has sputtered all season.
The Saints’ D will have to play a perfect game against one of the most terrorizing quarterbacks in the league, complete with weapons like Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski.
Despite what the experts are saying, be ready to turn this game off by halftime.