Saints writer predicts double-digit victory over Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open up the 2020 season against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.
While there won’t be any fans in attendance, there will be millions around the country watching from home that will absolutely be tuned in to see what Tom Brady and these new-look Buccaneers are able to do against a traditional powerhouse in the New Orleans Saints.
To give us a better perspective of the Buccaneers’ NFC South rival, we reached out to our friends over at Who Dat Dish to give us some insight as to how things are going in New Orleans and how they see this divisional match-up playing out.
Here’s what Nathan Beighle, Site Expert at Who Dat Dish, had to say about the season-opening match-up between the Buccaneers and the Saints.
Question 1: Drew Brees is back. How are things looking with him as the Saints have prepared for this season?
Beighle: This is looking more and more like Brees’ final run. However, he should still be elite. He’s led the league in completion percentage for three straight seasons, but those come at a cost of declining yards per throw.
His arm strength is still a concern. Nonetheless, he’ll easily be a top-ten quarterback, and having him in the game will always give the Saints a chance.
Question 2: There’s a lot of speculation as far as Alvin Kamara is concerned with contract negotiations ongoing. How important of a piece is he in the Saints’ offense and is there concern he may not even play Week 1?
Beighle: I don’t think there’s a concern. He denied ever requesting a trade after the team said they were listening to offers. There’s a lot of smoke being thrown out.
As for his importance, he’s incredibly important. They can carry on without him, but Kamara’s elusiveness opens up so much, including forcing opponents to keep a linebacker eyeing him as he’s so good in the passing game. Kamara is also returning 100%. He wasn’t 100% for the bulk of last season, so he should be a cannon out of the gate.
Question 3: The Saints are the clear favorites in the NFC South heading into the season. That being said, what holes/concerns do you have?
Beighle: We don’t have an overly impressive linebacking corps outside of Demario Davis. The offensive line is injury prone and released a three-time Pro Bowler to save cap space, favoring a rookie. Those two are huge, and the schedule is a concern.
Philadelphia away, Kansas City away, San Francisco, Tampa twice, Atlanta twice — it’s a rough go and six or seven losses wouldn’t be unthinkable.
Question 4: Who are some guys no one is talking about that will be impact players in this game and the season for the Saints?
Beighle: Alex Anzalone played in just a handful of games before sustaining season-ending injury last season. He’ll be an important factor for the defense, especially in the middle of the field. Also, the media doesn’t talk much about Adam Trautman.
The Saints could get back to two tight ends sets with Cook and Trautman. Given his 6-foot-5 stature, that could be a problem for teams in the red zone. Those two could come from the shadows and be difference-makers for New Orleans.
Question 5: Lastly, what’s your prediction for the game?
Beighle: At home Week 1 with no OTAs or preseason, we’re going 34-24 Saints. Who Dat!
We over at The Pewter Plank would like to thank Beighle for his time and analysis. If you’re looking for the best coverage of the New Orleans Saints on the web, please visit Who Dat Dish for more updates and analysis.