Buccaneers and Saints Need to Quickly Regain Confidence

Starting 2-0 can work wonders for a franchise’s confidence. But the New Orleans Saints’ confidence had to take a hit in Week 3. The Saints were less than two quarters away from a 3-0 start when disaster struck.

Quarterback Derek Carr suffered an injury that forced him out of the game. With Jameis Winston under center, the Saints’ offense cratered. New Orleans lost a 17-point lead on the road and lost a one-point stunner to Green Bay. How do the Saints recover from that?

Tampa Bay also took its first loss last week, according to top sports news today. But the Buccaneers weren’t considered a serious threat to defending NFC Champion Philadelphia. There were many people actually waiting for the Buccaneers to show if they were a real contender or not.

Tampa Bay’s offense struggled to crack what is an aggressive Eagles defense. The division race looks like it will be tight. Neither the Buccaneers nor the Saints will want to give this game away.

 

Tampa Bay Has Recent Momentum in Series

 

The Saints have mostly always had an upper hand in their matchups with the Buccaneers. New Orleans leads the all-time series 39-24. Tampa Bay flipped the script last season. The Buccaneers won both of their meetings in low-scoring, defensive affairs. 

New Orleans has been set as a 3.5-point favorite for this Sunday’s meeting. Black sports news shows that while both franchises were largely poor during their first few decades of existence, both have excelled in recent years. During each team’s early days, this rivalry game was one of the highlights of the season.

The Buccaneers’ first-ever win as a franchise came over the Saints on Dec. 11, 1977. Tampa Bay’s 33-14 win halted a 26-game losing streak.

 

Saints Would Like to Take Carr for Spin

 

Carr’s injury ruined what could have been a nice story for the veteran quarterback. After getting a messy divorce from the Las Vegas Raiders at the end of last season, Carr hoped a change of scenery might reinvigorate him. While things weren’t perfect during the first two games, Carr showed he could help the Saints win.

But after taking a tough hit last week, Carr’s status is up in the air. He said in an interview Wednesday that he is day to day. New Orleans is fortunate to have inconsistent but solid veteran starter Jameis Winston behind Carr.

During Carr’s career, he has been remarkably durable. Since coming into the league in 2012, he has only missed two regular-season starts.

 

Baker Wants to Restore Confidence

Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield is a confident guy. His problem has been that his confidence has rubbed people the wrong way. During stints in Cleveland and Carolina, Mayfield could never cement himself as the man under center. What Mayfield hopes is that his performance against the Eagles won’t linger.

Philadelphia didn’t hit Mayfield much but got enough pressure to make him feel uncomfortable. He only threw for 146 yards and completed 15-of-25 passes attempted. The Buccaneers offense needs to play better if they want to keep their hot start going.

 

Kamara is Ready to Run

Alvin Kamara is ready to hit people on the football field again. Unfortunately for the Saints star running back, he made a name for himself by trading hands with people off the field during the offseason. Kamara was suspended by the NFL for three games after pleading no contest for breach of peace after he was connected to a beating that put a man in the hospital.

On the field, Kamara has been spectacular for New Orleans throughout his career. Kamara was chosen for the Pro Bowl in his first five seasons in the league. Last season, Kamara finished with 897 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 15 games.

 

Bowles Not Happy with Backfield’s Performance

 

Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles wants to see his running backs help out their offensive linemen more. When holes open, the Buccaneers’ running backs can’t afford to dilly-dally. Against the Eagles, Rachaad White led Tampa Bay with 38 rushing yards on 14 carries.

White hasn’t ever finished with 100 rushing yards in 20 games. The Buccaneers also haven’t been productive in the run game. Tampa Bay hasn’t had a player rush for 100 or more yards in four of its past five games.

 

Saints Chemistry Up Front Could Use Some Work

 

The New Orleans offensive line has had an adjustment period to bringing in Carr. One thing the veteran quarterback hasn’t been great at is his decision-making. Carr ranks 17th in the league by holding the ball for 2.74 seconds before he throws.

As a result, Carr has spent a lot of time on the ground. He has been sacked 11 times this season. Six of those sacks came on designed blitzes.

 

Winston Has History With Buccaneers

 

While Carr hasn’t been ruled out yet, according to recent sports updates, it is likely Winston will be under center for New Orleans. That will give Winston another chance to play against the team that drafted him. Tampa Bay picked Winston with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Over five seasons with the Buccaneers, Winston produced outrageous numbers, both good and bad.

Winston did throw for 19,737 yards with 121 touchdowns and 88 interceptions. However, he is probably more remembered for a season where he threw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Winston has found success when playing Tampa Bay. He won two of his three starts and passed for 304 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

 

Saints’ Defense Has Been Top Notch

 

While the fourth quarter last week was a tough pill to swallow, the Saints have been up to the task defensively so far this season. New Orleans has the sixth-best scoring defense in the league, only allowing 16.7 points per game. The Saints are also in the top 10 in total yards allowed and passing yards allowed.

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