Check out our Best NFL Plays in this week’s Fab-Five:
The New Orleans Saints are looking to bounce back on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Saints ready to bounce back
The Saints have been steamrolling through their schedule to hold one of old of the top records in the league behind the stellar play of their offense. It was anything but that against the Dallas Cowboys where they were held to a season-low 10 points on 176 total offensive yards with only 14 first downs along with going 3-for-11 on third down while failing to convert both red zone trips. it was an uncharacteristic type of outing for star quarterback Drew Brees as he tallied just 127 yards on 18-of-28 completed passes with a touchdown and an interception. Despite all of that, the Saints still had a chance to win the game before Brees was intercepted on their final drive of the game. This was a contest that was dominated by the Cowboys defense, but New Orleans had a chance to secure the road win.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 4, 2018
Although it shouldn’t take away from the MVP-caliber campaign that Brees is putting together with one of his best campaigns as he currently leads the NFL with a career-high 75.5 percent completion rate and 123.2 passer rating along with being third with 30 passing touchdowns. Brees has been the linchpin to their explosive offense that ranks sixth overall along with being tied for second with 34.9 points per contest. This has seen them be among the most explosive units the league behind their potent backfield with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram leading the charge. Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas has been stringing together a career-best campaign currently fourth in the league with 1,120 receiving yards, third with 91 receptions, and eighth with eight touchdowns. Meanwhile, Kamara, who has 65 receptions for 555 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The Saints simply have too many offensive weapons that should put them on track to bounce back in a big way against the Buccaneers.
Jameis Winston’s rollercoaster ride continues
It has been a season full of some majors ups and downs for the Buccaneers that has pushed them to the outside looking in for the playoff picture. Much of this has laid with their inconsistent play under center with Jameis Winston going through some battles of inconsistency as the season has worn on. Winston has gone through some major struggles with his play this season that saw him get benched in favor of backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. The former Florida State product has been atrocious at times on the field that saw him post 1,380 passing yards while throwing 11 interceptions to eight touchdowns while fumbling the ball five times over his first five games of the season. This had created much doubt that he could fulfill the massive role as being the franchise quarterback for the Buccaneers not just this season but well beyond that.
Jameis finds Godwin in the back of the end zone for 6! pic.twitter.com/46rYY8qZzq
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 2, 2018
Winston hasn’t taken some steps forward over the last couple of weeks as he has helped lead Tampa back-to-back wins that have kept their playoff hopes alive heading into the final month of the regular season. This has seen him pass for 561 yards and four touchdowns combined over the last two games. His ability to avoid making turnovers has helped the Buccaneers stay on the right track on the field. The team has also had continued strong play from star wide receiver Mike Evans currently posting with 66 catches for 1,121 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He is currently third in receiving yards and has posted north of 100 receiving yards six times this year. However, his production and the offense ranking first in total yards has been overshadowed by the team’s shortcomings defensively ranking 27th overall along with being 30th with 29.6 points per contest allowed. Unless the Buccaneers can figure it out defensively, it’s going to be a long game against the Saints’ high-octane offense.
- Buccaneers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on grass.
- Buccaneers are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Buccaneers are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games in Week 14.
- Saints are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
- Saints are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Saints are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Last Thursday’s loss to the Cowboys was likely nothing more than a hiccup. New Orleans should be able to feast on Tampa Bay’s defensive shortcomings for a strong offensive performance. This should see them quickly get back on track toward their first-round bye trajection.
Prediction: New Orleans -8.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This is a game between two teams that have shown that they can put up points. It could be a similar offensive firework show to their first meeting of the season. The over is also 4-1 in Saints’ last five games against NFC South opponents.
Prediction: Over 55.5