This is one of, if not the marquee game of Week 1. Tom Brady’s debut as Tampa Bay’s quarterback, against Drew Brees and the Saints, who have won the division three straight years. Both QB’s are in their 40s, and both are still playing at a very high level.
This has all the making of a shootout, especially in the passing game. The Bucs have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski, though Evans is now listed as doubtful for Sunday. The Saints have Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Both teams can, and probably will, light up the scoreboard.
The Bucs running game hasn’t been much to speak of in recent years. Can they establish something on Sunday?
Defensively, Tampa Bay is top-notch up front, and has two quality linebackers in Lavonte David and Devin White. The question becomes: can the young secondary keep Brees in check?
Do you remember…
….the last time these two teams opened the season in the Superdome? It was two years ago, and the Bucs pulled off a 48-40 upset, with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing four touchdown passes. That was arguably the greatest moment of 2018. Tampa Bay finished 5-11. They may need to score 48 points to win this opener as well.
The first game of the season is always tough to predict. But the Saints are the defending champs, and you’re going to have to beat them to prove otherwise.