The most anticipated matchup of the NFL Divisional Round is New Orleans, where home Saints await the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Drew Brees hosts Tom Brady, with the two legendary quarterbacks meeting for the third time this year. Brees has two wins over Brady, but all that doesn’t’ have to mean anything now.
Buccs are on the rise, and the stats are showing that. Many believe that their improvement on the field is because of Antonio Brown, who began showing glimpses of his true potential. The former Steelers’ WR has five touchdowns in the previous five games.
Meanwhile, Brady’s form now is way better than, let’s say, two months ago. The six-time Super Bowl champion reached the 40-TD mark, becoming the oldest guy in the history of the league with such an achievement and the new record-holder in Tampa Bay.
Bucs’ rushing defense is one of the best in the past several years, allowing just 80.6 ypg. All they need to do is to stay at the same level and keep Alvin Kamara restrained. That will create enough trouble for the hosts.
All the eyes are on Drew Brees, who didn’t thrill anyone with his appearances following a five-game pause. The veteran QB had some rust on himself, and even though the Saints won matches, Brees didn’t play well, or better to say, he didn’t perform at his usual level.
Saints eliminated Chicago Bears in the Wild Card, 21-9, but only following a push in the second half. The first 30 minutes of the match weren’t what Sean Payton wanted, and the luck was with the hosts, as the Bears made several clumsy mistakes.
Mike Thomas is back, and that is a massive plus for Brees. Kamara is in superb shape, finishing the regular part of the season as the TD leader, and breaking several scoring records.
We expect a game with lots of passing as both sides have ferocious rushing defenses, and both Arians and Payton will focus on aerial attacks. With the solutions they have, it would be very unwise to look for something else.
At the moment, the over/under margin is 52 points. With lesser running, the clock will be stopped more often, and there would be more time for effective play. Therefore Over is the choice here.