History is not on the side of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In their most recent matchups with the Saints, it’s been New Orleans that’s had the upper hand. Tampa Bay is on a four-game losing streak against the Saints, and they’ve been outscored 137 to 67 in those games.
The biggest question relating to this handicap is whether the Buccaneers have improved enough this season to supplant the Saints? On paper, both teams look formidable on defense, but in football, slim margins are often the difference between winning and losing.
If we look at some key stats involving both teams, the Saints are ranked second in defensive DVOA per Football Outsiders, while the Buccaneers are ranked fifth. The Saints have also allowed fewer points (20.4) and yards per game (306.6) than Tampa Bay that’s allowed 22.2 points per game and 329.9 yards per game.
Tampa Bay will particularly need to do a better job on third-down to get their defense off the field to avoid them from tiring out.
New Orleans is third in the league in time of possession (31:58), while Tampa Bay is 21st (29:02).
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