Buccaneers Predictions: Forecasting the 2017 Second Quarter
@ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints and Buccaneers have at least four things in common. It starts with the two losses they share against the Patriots and Vikings, and the two wins they have on the year, even if they aren’t against the same teams.
New Orleans lost to the Patriots by 16, and to the Vikings by 10. What does this mean? Well, it means the Saints don’t have a good defense for one.
We all know this though.
What this team does have is Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and a combination of Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson (kind of), and rookie Alvin Kamara out of the backfield.
It’s the last one which is the most concerning for me against the Bucs.
In his first season as a pro, Kamara has nine carries for 96-yards and a catch for 22. He’s also got one score amongst all that work.
He’s a good player with real playmaking ability. The Saints are picking up on this as well, and his touches have gone from zero in Weeks 1 and 2 to ten over the last two.
I have to believe the team spent at least a portion of their bye week in Week 5 getting the rookie worked into the game plan better, and they’ll be looking to do damage with him against the Buccaneers defense in Week 9.
The health of Tampa’s linebackers will have a big impact on this one. Alexander and David we all know about. Making his rookie introductions this year as well has been Bucs linebacker Kendall Beckwith.
LSU’s second contributing linebacker to this Bucs team has stepped in extremely well for the team while Tampa has been missing two pro bowl caliber defenders.
The education he’s getting can’t be undersold, and if all three are healthy, then they should be able to keep Kamara from taking over the contest altogether.
This one’s going to be on the defense.
Winston, Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, and DeSean Jackson should be able to put up plenty of points.
Can the defense keep Brees from matching or better?
PREDICTION: Buccaneers Win 34-24
Ok, so I’m predicting the Buccaneers to go 4-0 over the next four games. I truly believe it can be done. I know there have been issues in the kicking game, and with putting scoring drives together at times. I look at it like this.
The Bucs are a rare dropped pass by Brate, a rare hand to the face by Evan Smith, or two made field goals away from being 3-1 after playing the Vikings, Giants and Patriots. All three, were expected to compete for the playoffs entering the season.
I know New York simply hasn’t been that good so far, but talent is talent, and they have plenty. Give some credit for the Bucs being able to best them as well.
Playing against Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard will help when preparing for Kamara and Ingram. I don’t believe Funchess is just now revealing he’s one of the best receivers in the league, and the Panthers will come back down to earth over the next three games.
Oh, and there’s the Buccaneers offense which has only scratched the surface of what they’re capable of.
Either way, these are my predictions, but I want to know yours.
Find my Facebook page, Twitter, or simply shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org to give your predictions and tell me where I’m wrong. Oh, and don’t forget why as well.