By David McDonnell

The NFC South is all up for grabs, as the Saints travel to Tampa for this version of Monday Night Football. 

A win would be a statement for either team and give them a chance of winning the division, so expect a high intensity matchup with everyone going all out for the win.

New Orleans Saints (4-7)

Power Rankings – 28th

DVOA Rankings: Offence – 24th, Defence – 15th, ST – 28th: Overall –  25th

The NFC South has been bad this year, but a win for the Saints could pull them to within half a game of first place. This season has been a tale of two different halves for them. 

In the first half, they were losing many high-scoring games as their offence consistently put 25 to 30 points on the board, while the defence got absolutely wrecked week in week out. Now their games have done a complete 180, as over the past five weeks the offence has cooled off while the defence has turned up, allowing more than 20 points just once during that stretch.

With their defence looking solid and three of their remaining five games against divisional foes, the division title isn’t out of their hands just yet. But an away win against Tampa is a must if they want momentum in their favour and a chance to catch the Bucs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)

Power Rankings – 16th

DVOA Rankings: Offence – 17th, Defence – 7th, ST – 19th: Overall – 10th

The biggest problem for Tampa Bay remains an offence that can’t score points consistently. They have only topped the 22-point mark just once this season, despite Tom Brady playing mistake-free football. He has only thrown just two interceptions all year, but the big plays and scoring drives have completely evaporated.

Despite the worries on offence this team is still in line to host a play-off game. The defence has been the more solid unit throughout the year but injuries in the secondary can always hamper them. After coming off an ugly overtime loss to the Browns last week, the Bucs will be looking to set the record straight now and grow their lead within the division.

Previous Matchups

2022 Season:

Week 2 – Buccaneers @ Saints 20-10 Buccaneers Win

Despite having more success in recent years, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers have struggled with the Saints. With Brady in a Tampa uniform, he was 0-4 against them coming into the year, but managed to finally beat New Orleans earlier this season. Since then, Tampa looks to have regressed, so was it just a fluke or can the Buccaneers grow the lead in the NFC South?


Teh Bucs enter this prime-time game as 3.5 favourites over the Saints.

Tampa Bay haven’t looked themselves on offence all year and come face-to-face with a steadily improving Saints defence. While the New Orleans offence can go hot and cool, the defence has really stepped up as of late and should do against Tampa Bay tonight as well.

With the Buccaneers missing Tristan Wirfs on the offensive line, it will only help the Saints, as I see them pulling off an upset. 

Whether it’s Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston at QB, they won’t have to play a perfect game but just outscore a below average offence that struggles against them.

Saints 20-17 Buccaneers

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