Tampa Bay Buccaneers @

New Orleans Saints

Sun, Sep 13
1:25 PM Pacific
Rotation: 475
Odds: New Orleans Saints -3.5, Total: 47.5

Game Analysis

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Lean – NEW ORLEANS (-3.5) over Tampa Bay

We are higher on New Orleans than the market in 2020 because we believe they have a chance to be the league’s best defense, as they are strong at all three levels. In the secondary, Malcolm Jenkins will be an excellent addition to play safety alongside Marcus Williams. Jenkins allowed 0.39 yards per slot cover snap (1st, minimum 150 snaps) and Williams graded 5th among all safeties in 2019 (PFF). Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins have both shown the ability to be Pro Bowl caliber CBs in their careers and the Saints’ secondary is one of the few that will be able to contain all the talented pass-catchers that the Bucs possess.

Demario Davis is an excellent linebacker (3rd in yards allowed per cover snap) and the defensive line is stout with Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport both ranking among the top 15 among edge defenders in pass rush efficiency.

The Buccaneers have plenty of receiving talent (Evans, Godwin, Gronkowski) but Tampa Bay’s offensive line will be notably worse than what Brady is accustomed to. I expect Tampa’s line to be around league-average so the veteran quarterback will likely spend more time on his back this season than he did playing behind a consistently good offensive line for New England.

Brady was not his usual self in 2019 ranking, as he ranked just 14th in Wins Above Replacement (PFF). If he continues to decline with age we could see him looking more like Peyton Manning did in his last season than the Hall of Fame performance we’re used to. Although, to be fair, Brady has much better receivers to work with this season than he did with the Patriots in 2019.

Continuing the comparison to the 2015 Broncos, we think the Buccaneers have a good chance to have a top 10 defense. Todd Bowles is a great defensive coordinator and I think it would be a surprise to many that Tampa Bay’s defense finished 7th in compensated yards per play last year. The Buccaneers surrendered the 29th-most points because they were constantly coming out to defend short fields due to Jameis Winston’s 30 interceptions.

The Saints offense probably has a unique advantage this season with continuity, as they will not be hurt by the lack of off-season as much as most other teams, including the Bucs. Our model favors the Saints by 5.0 points, with a predicted total of 49.3, and I’ll lean with New Orleans.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Buccaneers
  • Saints


  • Pass Plays 42.3 44.4
  • Succ Pass Plays 46.4% 42.3%
  • Sack Rate 7.0% 6.5%
  • Int Rate 4.5% 1.7%
  • Deep Pass Rate 25.5% 16.5%
  • Big Pass Yards 47.7% 44.1%
  • NYPP 7.2 6.1


  • Rush Plays 25.6 22.6
  • RB YPR 3.5 2.9
  • Stuff Rate 23.7% 32.3%
  • Succ Rush Plays 42.6% 38.7%
  • Big Rush Yards 39.8% 40.7%
  • Yards Per Rush 3.8 3.3


  • All Snaps 67.9 67.1
  • Early Down Succ 46.2% 42.3%
  • Succ Rate 44.8% 40.8%
  • Big Yards Rate 46.6% 43.9%
  • Yards Per Play 5.9 5.1
  • Fumble Lost Rate 1.0% 1.5%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 27.5 26.5
  • Run Ratio 38.1% 34.4%
  • Starting Field Pos 28.1 31.2
  • Game Control 1.0 -1.0
  • Points 28.6 28.1
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