Tampa Bay Buccaneers are slowly but steadily picking up steam as they gear up for a tough post-season this year. Head Coach Bruce Arians deserves all the credit for ensuring his players transform talent into results.
The last time these two sides met was in Week 1 when the Saints ran away with a 34-23 win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. However, the situation of both NFC South big boys is quite different this time around.
Here’s a detailed look at both teams, along with injury updates and Week 9 Game Day predictions.
The question on every NFL fan’s mind- Will Antonio Brown make his long-awaited NFL return on Sunday? Will Head Coach Bruce Arians throw in the 32-year-old amidst the possible absence of Chris Godwin.
Quarterback Tom Brady will look to take full advantage of Brown if he does get the nod to make his Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut.
The Buccaneers already have the likes of Mike Evans and Scotty Miller in their wide receiver department. Godwin was listed as ‘questionable’ for Sunday’s game as per Friday’s injury report.
RBs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell will also be crucial assets for Bruce Arians’ team as they host NFC South rivals New Orleans Saints at the Raymond James Stadium.
A year ago, Head Coach Sean Payton would have been more than confident ahead of a game against the Buccaneers. However, the situation is much different in 2020.
With Drew Brees looking like a clone of his former self and the prolonged absence of star wide receiver, Michael Thomas, the Saints are 5-2 heading into this Week 9 clash.
But as recent reports indicate, Thomas could make a sensational return to the Saints starting line-up on the weekend. Payton will welcome Thomas’ return after the player was linked with a move away from New Orleans last month.
RB Alvin Kamara will get to shed the load after almost single-handedly helping the Saints be offensively competitive over the last 8 weeks.
G Ali Marpet – Concussion
WR Chris Godwin – Finger
WR Michael Thomas – Ankle/Hamstring
We expect the Buccaneers to edge away with a close win when these 2 teams face-off at the Raymond James Stadium. Tom Brady will be more than eager to exact revenge for the loss in the opening week.
But we feel that Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans will have a big role to play on Sunday night as compared to the returning Antonio Brown. Regardless, this NFC South encounter will be a treat to watch for neutral NFL fans.