The No. 2 New Orleans Saints (13-4) will host the No.5 Tampa Buccaneers (12-5) in the NFC divisional playoffs on Sunday at 6:40 pm EST. These NFC South rivals met twice during the regular season, with New Orleans winning and covering the spread in both games. New Orleans won the season opener 34-23 at home and defeated Tampa Bay again 38-3 on Week 9.
Tampa Bay defeats WashingtonThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished fifth in the NFC and defeated the Washington Football Team 31-23 in the first round of the playoffs as an eight-point favorite on Saturday. Tampa Bay outgained Washington 507 to 375 in total yardage, 26 to 23 in first downs, and both teams committed one turnover, Tom Brady completed 22 of 40 passes with two touchdowns and 381 yards with no picks.
During the regular season, Tampa Bay was third in the NFL, scoring 30.8 points per game, second in passing offense with 289.1 yards per game, and 28th with 94.9 rushing yards per game. Defensively Tampa Bay is eighth in scoring defense, giving up 22.2 points per game. Tampa Bay also has the best rushing defense in the NFL, holding opponents to 80.6 yards per game and 21st with 246.6 passing yards per game.
Quarterback Tom Brady started all 16 games and ranks ninth in the NFL with a 72.8 QBR. Brady has thrown for 4,633 yards with 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injury Report:
OUT: RB Kenjon Barner, WR John Franklin, TE O.J. Howard, RB Ronald Jones Jr., RB T.J. Logan, T Brad Seaton, C A.Q. Shipley, DL Vita Vea
Questionable: G Alex Cappa, CB Carlton Davis, RB Ronald Jones II, DL Jeremiah Ledbetter, LB Jason Pierre-Paul
Saints beat Bears in playoff openerAfter starting the season 1-2, the Saints won 11 of their last 13 regular-season games to secure the second seed in the NFC. New Orleans opened up the wildcard round with a 21-9 win over the Chicago Bears as a 10-point favorite last Sunday.
The Saints outgained the Bears 385 to 239 in total yardage and 27 to 11 in first downs in their latest win. New Orleans also scored touchdowns on three of their four red-zone possessions, compared to just 1 of 2 for the Bears. Drew Brees went 28 of 39 for the game for 265 yards with two touchdowns and Alvin Kamara, who was sidelined for the regular-season finale, after testing positive for COVID-19 returned rushed for 99 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown.
During the regular season, Drew Brees started 12 games and ranks sixth in the NFL with a 74.5 QBR. Brees has thrown for 2,942 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. Alvin Kamara led the team with 932 rushing yards and 756 receiving yards on 83 catches. Kamara rushed for 16 touchdowns, and five touchdown catches.
The Saints were fifth in the league averaging 30.1 ppg, but 12th with 376.4 yards per contest. New Orleans is sixth with 141.6 rushing yards and 19th with 234.9 passing yards per game. On defense, the Saints finished fifth, allowing 21.1 ppg and 217 passing yards per game. They were fourth, allowing 310.9 total yards per game and 93.9 rushing yards.
New Orleans Saints Injury Report:
OUT: LB Kwon Alexander, CB Johnson Bademosi, DT Jalen Dalton, C Nick Easton, WR Bennie Fowler, P Blake Gillikin, WR Deonte Harris, DE Trey Hendrickson, WR Tre’Quan Smith, DE Noah Spence, DB D.J. Swearinger, TE Jason Vander Laan, TE Cole Wick
Questionable: TE Terron Armstead, DB J.T. Gray, TE Josh Hill, QB Taysom Hill, RB Latavius Murray, CB Patrick Robinson, WR Tre'quah Smith,
- Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. NFC South.
- Buccaneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog
- Buccaneers are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record.