Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints: Prediction, matchups, how to watch, and more

Here's a preview of Sunday's Week 2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints matchup, including predictions, key injuries, and how to watch.

Only three Week 2 games will feature two 1-0 teams, and this is one of them. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played it safe against a banged-up Cowboys roster and emerged with a 19-3 victory, while the New Orleans Saints came back from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Falcons.

Who will come out on top in this early-season, yet still critical, NFC South contest? Here’s our breakdown of the Buccaneers vs. Saints matchup, the key injuries, and predictions from our NFL staff.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints preview

The Bucs barely had to do anything to come away with a win against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Tampa Bay’s defense shut down Dallas’ offense, and four Ryan Succop field goals were enough to keep the Buccaneers ahead until a fourth-quarter Mike Evans touchdown slammed the door for good.

Things won’t be as easy against the Saints, and that starts with Tampa’s deteriorating injury situation. Chris Godwin is expected to miss multiple weeks after injuring his hamstring on SNF, and almost every other Bucs receiver is also dealing with some sort of health question. Tom Brady has already lost several critical pieces of his offensive line, and he’ll be without starting left tackle Donovan Smith against New Orleans.

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But Brady’s largest issue is on the other side of the field, where Saints defensive-coordinator-turned-head-coach Dennis Allen has Brady’s number. Brady has faced Allen’s Saints four times in the regular season since joining the Bucs in 2020. He’s lost all four games while posting a 6:8 TD:INT ratio and taking 13 sacks. (Brady did defeat the Saints, 30-20, in a 2020-21 Divisional Round playoff game).

If New Orleans can stop — or at least, contain — Tampa Bay’s offense, the focus will turn to Jameis Winston and the Saints offense. In contrast to 2021, Winston now has three reliable receivers: Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, and Jarvis Landry. Can Winston put up points against a Bucs defense that features elite players both up front and in the secondary?

Buccaneers vs. Saints prediction

Betting line (courtesy of Caesars)
Buccaneers -2.5; Buccaneers -140, Saints +118; O/U 44

Adam Beasley’s Prediction
8-8-1 straight-up, 8-9 against the spread in 2022
Saints 27, Buccaneers 20

Dalton Miller’s Prediction
9-7-1 straight-up, 8-9 against the spread in 2022
Saints 24, Buccaneers 17

Dallas Robinson’s Prediction
9-7-1 straight-up, 6-11 against the spread in 2022
Buccaneers 27, Saints 17

How to watch Buccaneers vs. Saints

  • Date/Time
    Sunday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m. ET
  • Channel
    FOX
  • Live Stream
    Vidgo, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV (some markets), fuboTV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, FOX Now

Buccaneers vs. Saints matchup and stats

Given that they’re in the same division, it’s no surprise the Buccaneers and Saints have a long and storied rivalry. They’ve played each other 61 times since 1977, including twice per year since the NFL’s divisional realignment in 2022.

The last time these two teams played was in Week 15 of the 2021 campaign, a game that the Saints won 9-0. It was Brady’s first shutout since the 2006 season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 stats/rankings

  • Scoring: 19.0 (24th)
  • Yards: 347.0 (18th)
  • Yards per play: 5.6 (14th)
  • Passing: 195.0 (22nd)
  • Rushing: 152.0 (eighth)
  • Defensive scoring: 3.0 (first)
  • Yards allowed: 244.0 (third)
  • Yards per play allowed: 3.8 (third)
  • Pass defense: 173.0 (fifth)
  • Rush defense: 71.0 (sixth)

New Orleans Saints 2022 stats/rankings

  • Scoring: 27.0 (sixth)
  • Yards: 385.0 (12th)
  • Yards per play: 6.8 (fifth)
  • Passing: 234.0 (15th)
  • Rushing: 151.0 (ninth)
  • Defensive scoring: 26.0 (26th)
  • Yards allowed: 416.0 (27th)
  • Yards per play allowed: 5.9 (23rd)
  • Pass defense: 215.0 (15th)
  • Rush defense: 201.0 (29th)

Injuries to know

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • WR Chris Godwin (doubtful, out)
  • OT Donovan Smith (elbow, doubtful)
  • CB Zyon McCollum (hamstring, doubtful)
  • RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring, questionable)
  • WR Mike Evans (calf, questionable)
  • WR Russell Gage (hamstring, questionable)
  • WR Julio Jones (knee, questionable)
  • WR Breshad Perriman (knee, questionable)
  • OT Tristan Wirfs (abdomen, questionable)
  • C Ryan Jensen (injured reserve)
  • G Aaron Stinnie (injured reserve)RB Kenjon Barner (injured reserve)
    LB Cam Gill (injured reserve)

New Orleans Saints

  • CB Paulson Adebo (ankle, out)
  • QB Jameis Winston (back, questionable)
  • RB Alvin Kamara (ribs, questionable)
  • RB Mark Ingram (ankle, questionable)
  • RB Dwayne Washington (hamstring, questionable)
  • WR Tre’Quan Smith (shoulder, questionable)
  • CB Alontae Taylor (hip, questionable)
  • OL Trevor Penning (injured reserve)
  • OL Ethan Greenridge (injured reserve)
  • DT Albert Huggins (injured reserve)
  • LB D’Marco Jackson (injured reserve)
  • OL Forrest Lamp (injured reserve)
  • S Smoke Monday (injured reserve)
  • DT Malcolm Roach (injured reserve)
  • TE Dylan Soehner (physically unable to perform)
  • WR Kawaan Baker (suspended)
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