Two over 40-year-old quarterbacks will go head-to-head in a divisional rivalry as Tom Brady takes on Drew Brees. The two veteran quarterbacks have played each other five times, with Brees winning three of those five matchups. Both teams are led by high-powered offenses and young, talented defenses.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers stole the show this offseason by signing Brady back in March, and are now trying to prove that they can compete for a division title with the 43-year-old signal-caller. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2007 and last season they finished 7-9 with Jameis Winston as their quarterback, who threw 30 interceptions and is now a backup for the Saints.
Along with Brady, the Buccaneers added key veteran players Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, and Leonard Fournette to the offense, which already contains two Pro Bowl receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, to go along with tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard and running back Ronald Jones. There was no preseason, but Brady and company have been finding ways to build chemistry all offseason.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have the same nucleus of players that has led them to the playoffs the past three seasons, including their 13-3 team last year that lost in the Wild Card round to the Minnesota Vikings 26-20. Brees is looking to win his second Super Bowl.
Their Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Jordan believes they are the better team, saying the Buccaneers are “a team fighting for second place,” earlier this offseason. The Saints offense will be prolific this year with Alvin Kamara in the backfield, Michael Thomas as their top receiver, and newly acquired Emmanuel Sanders should open up some more space for the rest of the unit.
Date: Sunday, September 13.
Start Time: 4:25 E.T.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana.
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (No fans in attendance).
TV Info: FOX
Point Spread: TB +3.5 (-110) | NO -3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: TB +150 | NO -175
The Saints typically have the best home-field advantage in the NFL, but having no fans makes that less of a factor. Over a field goal for Brady and that Buccaneers offense is tough to turn down. This is the first regular-season game that Brady wasn’t favored in since Week 2 in 2015 against the Buffalo Bills.
These two teams will finish with two of the better records in the NFC by the end of the season. The Buccaneers have so many new pieces that need to be worked into the fold, but Brady has an extra chip on his shoulder heading into this game after things that have been said about him. The Buccaneers defense looks primed to make an early stance, after finishing in the top-five in total defense in the final five games last season. This game will come down to who has the ball last.
Final Score: Buccaneers 28, Saints 27
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