Things didn’t go very well for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, but thankfully the season is a lot longer than three weeks. The same can be said for the New Orleans Saints, who arguably had a worse Week 3 after blowing a double-digit lead to the Green Bay Packers before losing on a missed field goal.
Despite their bad weeks, the Bucs and Saints are meeting on Sunday with winning records and control of the NFC South on the line. New Orleans already has a divisional win in their pocket after beating Carolina in Week 2 but Tampa Bay has a chance to wash out the bad taste of its loss to Philly and head into the bye week sitting at 3-1.
All of this is in addition to the fact that everytime these two teams meet up it’s a fiery affair. No matter what Cam Jordan tries to say, the Bucs and Saints have a rivalry that will once again play an extremely meaningful role in the which direction either team’s season goes.
For the Bucs, a get back game against a division foe would be a huge way to kick off a tough stretch in the schedule. Tampa Bay has upcoming games against Detroit, Atlanta, and Buffalo and a loss to the Saints could start a slippery slope toward validating the doubters who expected the team to flame out this year.
It’s not going to be an easy matchup, as the Bucs are not only on the road but have some key concerns to be worried about.
Saints Week falls on a short week
It’s hard enough to gameplan for the Saints on a normal week, but the Bucs are at an instant disadvantage of needing to prepare for their first matchup against them on a short week. Not only that, the Bucs are coming off a nasty loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, which means bruised egos in addition to bruised everything else.
Tampa Bay only has five days between games, with at least one of those being a debrief of what happened on Monday. The Saints, meanwhile, had to fly back from Green Bay but had a normal week of prep between games.
We’ve seen the Bucs play on a short week many times over the last few seasons but then again not many of their battles with New Orleans went he way anyone in Tampa Bay wanted.