Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Venue: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Where to watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Bucs -4; O/U 48.5
BetMGM: Bucs -4.5; O/U 49
Caesars: Bucs -4.5; O/U 48.5
Buccaneers: 6-1 (1st place, NFC South)
Saints: 4-2 (2nd place, NFC South)
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Buccaneers - Saints preview and analysis
Buccaneers: won 38-3 vs. Bears
Saints: won 13-10 at Seahawks
The New Orleans Saints have won the past five regular season meetings against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Methinks that's changing on Sunday because Drew Brees isn't walking through that tunnel.
The Bucs will look to push their winning streak to five against the Saints, who are coming off a 13-10 win at the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football against a Russell Wilson-less team.
Tampa Bay is coming off a 38-3 win over the Chicago Bears in which Tom Brady threw his 600th touchdown pass in the victory. The way he's playing he might hit 700 in a couple of years because the TB12 method rules all and nothing more.
"I just think about all the guys that shared it with me," said Brady, 44, the reigning Super Bowl MVP and seven-time champion. "That's the reality. There's nothing about this sport that you do by yourself. It's the ultimate team sport. It challenges you physically, mentally, emotionally every week every day at practice. ... I'm just grateful to have amazing teammates, coaches. "To be able to do this for as long as I have is a really incredible blessing in my life."
Tampa Bay has rebounded well since losing to the Los Angeles Rams over a month ago, winning in different ways; between the two-point win in Brady's return to New England, to scoring at least 28 points in three straight games. Brady had a somewhat off day completing 20 of 36 passes, but threw for 211 yards and four touchdowns while not throwing an interception.
Chris Godwin had a game-high 111 yards on eight receptions and a touchdown, while Mike Evans caught the other three scores to cap off a six-catch day for 76 yards.
While the Bucs have won the last five meetings against the Saints, the last one is what matters most; when Brady and his team went into the Superdome during the NFC Divisional Playoffs last year in Brees' last game. The Saints are 4-2 but haven't put together that statement win to this point.
That season-opening win against the Green Bay Packers can't even be considered that because of how the Packers have not lost since then. Jameis Winston has been OK, but throwing for 222 yards on 19 of 35 and a touchdown isn't getting things done. The Saints defense has gone against average quarterbacks the last few weeks, including Geno Smith last week in that 3-point win at Seattle.
“In a game like this where things are close, things get a little a little ugly towards the end, it builds confidence to be able to come into a game like this and close it out the way we did,” Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said.
Winston is asked to not only beat his former team, but the group that drafted him No. 1 overall and won the Super Bowl without him. You'd like to think that would be the caveat to have him play at his best, but the way the Bucs' defense has been playing as of late, that's not happening.
Brady did not look good in New Orleans in Week 1 a year ago, but if Rob Gronkowski comes back, that's going to help. It's one thing if you do it to Aaron Rodgers in a neutral site. It's another to take on a red-hot Brady after four weeks of winning. Tampa Bay takes care of business in another win. Buccaneers by 14
The Buccaneers are 3-4 ATS in all games this season.
Tampa Bay is 6-1 ATS after leading its previous game by 14 points or more at halftime.
The Saints are 7-1 ATS in their last eight as an underdog.
The Saints are 5-0 ATS their past three seasons after scoring 14 points or less in the previous game.
Players to watch
Buccaneers: Leonard Fournette is looking for his fourth straight game of at least 90 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. In that divisional round game, he had 107 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown reception.
Saints: Wide receiver Marquez Callaway has recorded 70 yards in two of his past three games. He could be Winston’s leading target going into this game.
Passing: Tom Brady -- 2,275 yards, 21 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Leonard Fournette -- 413 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Chris Godwin -- 520 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Shaquil Barrett -- 5.5 sacks
Passing: Jameis Winston -- 1,114 yards, 13 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Alvin Kamara -- 419 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Alvin Kamara -- 241 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Two tied -- 3.5 sacks
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