NEW ORLEANS, Lou. (WLOX) - Since the Saints and Buccaneers last faced off on early November, the two teams have each lost only twice. New Orleans had an average margin of victory over that stretch of 17 points per game, while Tampa’s was 18. They each have a 3-point home loss to the AFC-favorite Kansas City Chiefs. Truly a tale of two seasons for each squad.
The Saints have clamped down defensively, allowing single-digit point totals four times in their last nine games, and forcing a total of 17 turnovers in that stretch. Over that same period of time, Tampa Bay has eclipsed the 500-yard mark in three games, and coughed up just seven turnovers. So when toe meets ball on Sunday, ignore the previous two outcomes from the regular season. Sean Payton says this is a different Bucs team than it was two months ago.
“I think what you are seeing is the timing, the down the field throws and I think they’re operating as efficiently as I’ve seen yet this year,” Payton said. “They’re getting the ball down the field. Antonio [Brown], you can see the deep shots to him, posts, go’s, seams, I think Tom is throwing it outstanding.”