Buccaneers vs Saints: The Saints played the Bucs to close last year’s regular season, and now they host the Bucs to open this year. The Super Bowl hopefuls are trying to get their season off on the right foot against a Tampa Bay team trying to find its identity in an utterly stacked NFC South.
Buccaneers vs Saints
2018 NFL picks: Super Bowl, MVP and all of the major awards:Both of these teams will be without key players. For the Saints, 2017 Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara will have to step up to start the season, as Mark Ingram is out for four games due to a violation of the league’s PED policy. Ingram led the team last season with 1,124 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns rushing. What does that mean for Drew Brees and the Saints offense? A ton of swing passes and screens to Kamara to compensate for the decided hit to the running game.
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, have an even more impactful player suspended. Jameis Winston will miss the first three games for the Buccaneers, so Ryan Fitzpatrick will be at the helm for the Bucs. Targets like Mike Evans and O.J. Howard should make things a bit more manageable for Fitzpatrick against an up-and-down Saints secondary, and Peyton Barber ran the ball well the last time these two teams met. It’s going to be a tough battle for the Buccaneers, but if they can control the ball, they have a chance against a very talented Saints team.
So who should you back in Week 1 of the NFL season? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has outperformed 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com the past two seasons.
Here’s how to catch Sunday’s Buccaneers-Saints showdown.
How to watch, stream
Kickoff: Sunday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m. ET
TV: FOX (Check local listings)
Streaming: fuboTV (try for free)
Who will win?
Our CBSSports.com analysts unanimously have the Saints winning this one, and it isn’t hard to see why. A Hall-of-Fame quarterback, a talented receiving corps and the defending Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year should prove to be too much for a Buccaneers team in flux. However, don’t think that the Buccaneers can’t compete. Fitzpatrick is the wild card, according to Pete Prisco in his Week 1 picks. The firepower of the Saints may prove to be too much, but they may find themselves sweating this one.