NFL Week 1 preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

This game is going to be a shootout. There is no way around it. No matter how good the defenses are, there should be at least 60 points scored in this game, given the stars on the offensive side of the ball.

Tampa Bay will probably shut Kamara down as a runner, and New Orleans won’t have to game plan too much around the newer members of the Buccaneer backfield, and relying on the pass is the safest option for both sides.

Bruce Arians and Sean Payton are not conservative play-callers, and this shouldn’t turn into a ball-control game.

The Saints should have a substantial advantage early. It won’t be surprising if the Bucs go down one or two touchdowns in the first half on account of the lack of a preseason and limited chances to take “live” reps with their new QB. Communication and chemistry will come with time, but getting to that point only through practice is extremely difficult.

Tampa Bay will probably look much better in the second half as the rust wears off for the veterans, and the jitters slow down for the rookies. The Bucs have shown that they can crawl their way out of a hole under Bruce Arians, and they will likely have to prove that week one.

While the Saints will likely pull out the win, there is a good chance that this game would have gone differently if there was a full offseason. New Orleans is one of the best-constructed teams in the NFL, at least for the next year, and they will be an extremely tough obstacle for this Buccaneers team.

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Regardless of how game one goes, the rematch later on in the season should carry the same intensity and fire as the first game. These teams are rivals for a reason, and this rivalry should lead to two great games this year.