It was just two weekends ago that the Bucs stuffed Drew Brees and Co., picking him three times and holding them without a TD in a crucial 16-11 win in Tampa.
Then last Sunday in Arizona, the ever dangerous/explosive Saints offense was back.
Boy, was it back.
To the tune of 488 total yards and 48 points (the fourth time they had gone over 40 in a game) and a showing that should have Buccaneer fans concerned.
For his part, Brees threw for 389 yards and 4 TDs, including two bombs to the speedy Brandin Cooks of 65 and 45 yards in the second quarter, as New Orleans raced out to an 11 point lead.
The attacking aggressive Sean Payton play-calling was dialed in and continued with three TDs in the fourth quarter. As it turns out the Saints needed the 48 points, as they gave up big plays on D and 41 points themselves. Nonetheless, it’s the offense they are known for and delivered in the dessert.
This all begs the question: which Saints offense will the Bucs see come Saturday?
So, here’s what we know: the Saints are second in the NFL in scoring at 29.0 points per game and Brees leads the league at 4,559 yards passing through the 14 games. And the biggest thing? They are looking for immediate revenge against the Bucs defense.
Now, Gerald McCoy, Robert Ayers and rookie Noah Spence look to continue a Tampa Bay pass rush that has come to life the second half of the season and now, has 33 sacks on the season. The Buccaneers also had three INTs in the New Orleans win and continue to lead the NFL with 24 takeaways since week five.
So, the Bucs know they are capable, but it will not be easy to beat the Saints in the Superdome for the second time in three games.
The Saints are obviously capable, but then again, New Orleans has only one win against a team with a winning record (Seattle). And they have already lost three times in the Dome.
Don’t look for it to be 16-11, but don’t look for the Saints to get 48 either.