This division matchup is between two teams desperate for wins. The Saints are essentially out of the playoffs, but the Buccaneers still have a very outside shot to make the playoffs. That means Tampa Bay has a little more drive to win this game. Throw in the fact that it is between division rivals and this game is still interesting in December. Most would have though that New Orleans would be the one with the better shot to make this playoffs this year, but that’s not the case. Of course, none of that will matter if the Saints win and both teams leave with the same record.
The Saints have struggled lately, mainly because of the struggles of Drew Brees. Brees has been uncharacteristically bad lately, especially in his last two games. He threw no touchdowns and 5 interceptions against the Falcons a couple weeks ago, and followed that with a one TD game and a few more turnovers. He will be facing a bad Tampa secondary, but his struggles could be more mental. We will see today as Brees should have every opportunity to dominate the Tampa defense.
As for the Bucs, they looked primed for a playoff run before dropping three straight games. The first two were against good teams in Atlanta and Denver. They played very close in the Atlanta game before falling flat. The Broncos game wasn’t as close, but in the end they only lost by 8 to one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Then they lost to the Eagles who are one of the coldest teams in the league. They allowed Nick Foles to come back on them with under 5 minutes and a two score game. That could be rock bottom for the Bucs who now need a miracle to reach the playoffs. It all starts today, when they face the Saints. They have proven that they can keep up wit the good teams, but they need to beat them to have success.