Buccaneers 2017 season preview: Game predictions
By Zain Ahmed
Week 9: at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 PM
A week after hosting the Panthers, the Bucs will travel to New Orleans for the first matchup of the season against the Saints. The Bucs split with the Saints last year after failing to come up with a win that would have propelled them into the playoffs in week 16. The Saints in 2016 posted their third straight 7-9 season. The issue with the Saints has always been the defensive side of the ball, as Drew Brees has been an elite QB since joining New Orleans.
The Bucs will be looking to avenge their week 16 loss which virtually pushed them out of the playoffs. New Orleans has always provided a tough challenge for Tampa Bay and should again in this matchup. The Saints are always tougher at home. That offense is just leaps and bounds better in the dome than on the road. And with Drew Brees under center, they are always going to be lethal.
The key for the Bucs has and always will be to rattle Drew Brees but I feel they will come up short this game. That right arm of Brees will take them out to a lead, and having Adrian Peterson in the fold will help New Orleans keep that lead. The Saints are more balanced than in previous years. The Saints always take a game from the Bucs and in this case, it will be better that it happens earlier in the season.