How the Tampa Bay Buccaneers steal a road game against the New Orleans Saints
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open up their 2020 season with more excitement resonating throughout the franchise than what we’ve seen in the past 10 years combined.
The Buccaneers went out and made some major moves this offseason, bringing in names like Leonard Fournette and Rob Gronkowski to add to an already-talented group of offensive skill-position players. But no name was bigger than QB Tom Brady, who signed a two-year deal withe Buccaneers worth $50 million.
With Brady at the helm, along with the plethora of skill position talents and an improved defense, many believe Tampa Bay has an opportunity to be a legitimate competitor in the NFC and to even make a deep postseason run.
But little to no one believes the Buccaneers will unseat the New Orleans Saints as the top team in the NFC South division.
With the Bucs and Saints preparing for a big-time showdown this weekend in New Orleans, here’s a look at the ‘upset checklist’ Tampa Bay will have to accomplish to steal a road tilt against their NFC South rival.
The Upset Checklist for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Create at least one turnover
- Brady and the passing game has to be effective from the get-go
- You can’t leave points on the field
- Force Drew Brees to make tough throws, live with the ones he’s able to complete
- No one is going to stop Alvin Kamara, but you have to at least contain him and slow him down
If you want five points to what the Buccaneers must do to win the game, they’re listed right there.
The Bucs probably need to force a turnover simply to create an extra possession for the offense. Winning the turnover battle can be huge in a game that will be closely contested, so coming away with an interception or fumble could be the ultimate difference in the outcome. Even if it’s not, you’re talking about a huge momentum-shifter, which never hurts.
Offensively, the Bucs have to get going in the passing game and you can’t leave points on the field. That means converting if you get put in a short-field situation. That means Ryan Succop not missing field goal attempts. That means finishing off drives with touchdowns instead of having to settle for a field goal when the opportunity presents itself.
And then finally, defensively you can’t give them anything easy. Make the Saints work for it. Make Brees take the underneath route. Don’t give him easy throws that allow him to get into a rhythm.
It’s easier said than done, but this is the formula for the Buccaneers coming away with a victory in New Orleans and upsetting the Saints Sunday afternoon.