Saints’ advantage No. 3: Stability in O-line
With former Saints’ Terron Armstead leaving for Miami, Tampa Bay had the advantage in the offensive line…up until very recently.
The Bucs re-signed their highly rated center Ryan Jensen, but Jensen recently suffered an injury in practice and is expected to miss months, the exact duration of which is yet to be known.
The rest of Tampa’s offensive line looks fairly solid with left tackle Donovan Smith, left guard Luke Goedeke, right guard Shaq Mason, and right tackle Tristan Wirfs. But losing Jensen nonetheless deals a huge blow to the team, and the Saints will want to capitalize on the Bucs’ weaknesses.
As for NOLA’s O-line, the Saints have an elite center in Erik McCoy and returning starters in Andrus Peat and Ryan Ramczyk. The only questionable members in the trenches are Cesar Ruiz, who has put together inconsistent performances in the past, and James Hurst/ Trevor Penning. The Hurst-Penning left tackle battle in training camp will be one of the most exciting to watch.
All players considered, the Bucs lost a crucial O-line piece in Ryan Jensen, giving New Orleans the ever-so-slight advantage in 2022.