5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 2 New Orleans Saints
Sunday, January 17
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: There’s no way New Orleans can make it a threezie that easy, can it?
It had few problems in 34-23 Week 1 win and dominated 38-3 in early November, but this is a stronger, sharper, better Buccaneer team now.
Tom Brady appears to be in sync with all of his high-end fantasy targets, he’s getting a whole lot of time to work, and he’s getting help from a running game that was without Ronald Jones, but got a huge day against Washington from Leonard Fournette.
And the defense couldn’t seem to do much to hold down Taylor Heinecke.
The Football Team was never going to beat the Bucs, but Heinecke and company made it very, very interesting.
Blow it off.
Tampa Bay got the free space game against the NFC East team with the losing record, New Orleans got its own free space matchup against an overmatched Chicago, and now the two get what they wanted in Round 3.
Tampa Bay will start out hot – jacked to prove that this will be a very, very different game this time around – but New Orleans will slowly and steadily keep producing, and then everything will come together early in the fourth.
Michael Thomas is starting to come back. Alvin Kamara is fine. The Saint D appears to have its groove back.
The Drew Brees ride isn’t ending quite yet.
Knee-Jerk No Research Prediction: New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 26
Early Line No Look Guess: New Orleans -4
Actual BetMGM Line: New Orleans -3.5, o/u: 51