TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 15, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Raymond James Stadium
Weather: Low 74, High 91
Line: New Orleans (-3.5)
As one of the scariest offensive teams in the league, the New Orleans Saints started the season off a bit slow with a close win against the Atlanta Falcons, 23-17. Drew Brees was his normal self, throwing for 357 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He hit seven different receivers and all of which had two or more receptions. Kenny Stills was impressive with his two catches, racking up 86 yards. The run game was nearly non-existent once again — like it usually is — in the Saints’ offense. Pierre Thomas led all rushers with 43 yards on nine carries.
On the other side of the field, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ offense was not as successful. With an embarrassing loss to the seemingly down-and-out New York Jets, the Bucs had just 250 total yards of offense, including 210 passing yards from Josh Freeman with a touchdown and interception. Freeman completed less than 50 percent of his passes while carrying the ball just one time for no yards. Doug Martin ran the ball 24 times but only finished the game with 65 yards on the ground. Vincent Jackson broke out big-time with 154 yards on seven catches.
This game will prove a lot defensively for both squads. The Buccaneers look to have an improved defense from a season ago and although they lost to the Jets, it is apparent the defense has worked on a lot of things, allowing just 304 yards. The Saints were never really known for their defense, but keeping the Falcons under 400 yards is a feat in itself.
PREDICTION: Saints 42, Buccaneers 30