The New Orleans Saints will close out the regular season against the divisional rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a playoff spot on the line. If the Saints win, they make the playoffs; if they lose, they will need a little help to play postseason football. So, the Saints are obviously treating this as a must-win game. There is one Saints player that can be a big help in getting that W. Tight end Jimmy Graham is the best tight end in the NFL, and he will need to lead his team to victory.
Graham has been on fire this season as he has caught 81 receptions for 1,144 yards and a league-high 15 receiving touchdowns. Graham is a nightmare matchup, and the Bucs will need to try and slow him down. The last time the Saints and Bucs played, the Saints barely won 16-14. However, Graham torched the Bucs’ secondary to the tune of 10 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown.
The Bucs are preparing for Graham, but there is only so much they can do with the 6-foot-7 tight end. Bucs safety Dashon Goldson will be tasked with slowing down Graham, but it will take a team effort to stop him. Furthermore, the Bucs might be without injured safety Mark Barron, so it could be even more difficult to slow down Graham.
The Saints need to win this game, and I have a feeling that Graham will have a monster game and lead the team to the postseason. Graham hasn’t had a 100-yard receiving game since a Week 12 victory against the Atlanta Falcons, and the Saints have gone 1-3 since the last time Graham caught at least 100 yards.
However, the Saints are 5-1 this season when Graham has caught 100 yards or more, and I think the regular season finale is going to be the time for him to have another 100-yard receiving game. The Saints are at their best when Graham is playing great, and I think he will get back on track just in time for the playoffs.