After losing to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, the New Orleans Saints playoff hopes became very slim. However, their upcoming opponent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a chance to improve their standings in the NFC Wild Card race. Unless all of the other teams that are in contention for a wild card spot lose this Sunday, the Saints will play the role of spoiler when they take on the Bucs.
I know that there are many Saints fans that would like to see the team begin “tanking” the remaining games of the season so that they can move up to a higher position in the 2016 NFL Draft. Do not expect head coach Sean Payton to get involved in those types of tactics so that the Saints can earn a higher pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Sean Payton and the Saints had an opportunity to move up in the draft last season, but choose not to when they defeated the Buccaneers in the last game of the season 23-20. Fast forward to 2015 and the Saints are somewhat in the same predicament, but the stakes are a bit higher in regards to the Bucs. For a brief moment, the Saints defense looked like it had turned the corner under new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen when they took on the Carolina Panthers last week.
However, the Saints would wake up from their dream of possibly shutting out the Panthers when they blew the lead in the game by committing too many penalties and miscommunication among defensive backs in regards to their assignments. The Saints defense must take out the threat of Bucs star running back Doug Martin if they want to improve their record to 5-8 on the season.
Right now, Doug Martin is 2nd in the league with 1,133 yards rushing. Another issue that the Saints may have to deal with this Sunday against the Buccaneers is the possibility of quarterback Jameis Winston becoming a threat as a runner leaving the pocket. Look at the video below and you will see what type of headache Winston may become for Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen this Sunday.
Those are some of the many issues that the Saints could face this Sunday. Also, do not forget about the Buccaneers top wide receiver Mike Evans, who could go all out on the Saints undisciplined secondary. On the offensive side of the ball for the Saints, they will be without one of the main contributors.
Running back, Mark Ingram suffered a serious shoulder injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the season. With that being said, you can expect quarterback Drew Brees to put on an aerial show against the Bucs defense. If the Saints offense does not bail out the highly possible dismal performance of the defense, it will be a long and sunny day down in Tampa, Florida.
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