The New Orleans Saints couldn’t maintain their 17-point lead in the fourth quarter and fell 18-17 to the Green Bay Packers for their first loss of the season. Next up for the Black and Gold will be a home divisional matchup versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In the loss to the Packers, Saints quarterback Derek Carr injured his throwing shoulder and is a game-time decision. Baker Mayfield moved from one NFC South team to another as he replaced Tom Brady after the future Hall of Famer retired at the end of last season.
Over the last couple of seasons, neither team has been able to light up the scoreboard as often as they used to. With two defensive units that rank in the top half of the league facing off against two offensive units that have scored 21 or more points just once this season, that trend should continue.
AK41 IS BACK
After missing the first three games of the season due to a suspension by the league, Alvin Kamara makes his return. The run game by New Orleans has been uninspiring after Jamaal Williams got injured in week two against the Carolina Panthers and Taysom Hill is the leading rusher for the Saints with 91 yards.
Kamara adds another dimension to the run game and is an option in the passing game that could act as a security blanket for whoever starts at quarterback on Sunday. We’ve seen this Saints coaching staff use Kamara all over the field and open up the playbook with his ability to run almost any route to get open.
Tampa’s defense ranks 12th in rushing yards allowed per game with 103 while the Saints’ offensive line doesn’t get much push with only 93.3 yards gained per contest.
GAME TIME DECISION
Derek Carr’s shoulder injury last Sunday had many thinking he would be out the next couple of weeks. As the days have passed, news on Carr’s shoulder has been positive and has reportedly looked sharp throwing the ball in their last practice.
If Carr is unable to suit up, Jameis Winston will likely be the next man up. We’ve seen the former Buccaneer make starts with the Black and Gold in 2021 and 2022 before getting put on the shelf for majorities for the season due to a torn ACL tear and fractures in his back.
Whether Carr or Winston gets the starts, they will be under pressure throughout the game as the offensive line of the Saints has given up 12 sacks in three games, and the Bucs have sacked opposing quarterbacks 10 times this season.
Marshon Lattimore vs Mike Evans has been must-see TV ever since Lattimore entered the league in 2017. Evans has gotten the better of the Saints corner every once in a while but Lattimore has had the Bucs pass catcher’s number most of the time.
In some matchups, we’ve seen only one of neither player finish the game due to disqualification and getting into fights. Evans has scored a touchdown in every game so far this year but hasn’t scored on Lattimore since Halloween of 2021.
While these two lineup against one another, other matchups to look for are Alontae Taylor vs whoever lines up in the slot for Tampa, such as rookie Trey Palmer. Also, who will guard Chris Godwin? A player who has taken advantage of so many opportunities while much of the focus of the Saints has been to slow down Evans.
SERIES RECORD: Saints lead 39-24
NO 16 – TB 17
TB 20 – NO 10
NO 9 – TB 0
TB 27 – NO 36
TB 30 – NO 20
Derek Carr: 57-87, 636 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Taysom Hill: 16 carries, 91 yards
Chris Olave: 22 catches, 302 yards
Carl Granderson: 2.5 sacks
Pete Werner: 26 tackles (13 solo)
Blake Grupe: 6-of-7 field goals, Long of 52
Baker Mayfield: 62-93, 636 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rachaad White: 48 carries, 150 yards, 1 TD
Mike Evans: 17 catches, 297 yards, 3 TD
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka: 2 sacks
Ryan Neal: 25 tackles (15 solo)
Chase McLaughlin: 5-of-6 field goals, Long of 57
Derek Carr, QB, Shoulder, Questionable
Jordan Howden, S, Finger, Out
Cesar Ruiz, RG, Concussion, Out
Paulson Adebo, CB, Hamstring, Out
Foster Moreau, TE, Ankle, Questionable
Carlton Davis, CB, Toe, Questionable
Jamel Dean, CB, Neck/Shoulder, Out
Devin White, LB, Foot, Questionable
Vita Vea, NT, Pectoral, Questionable
Calijah Cancey, DL, Calf, Out
Derrek Pitts, CB, Hamstring, Out
SirVocea Dennis, LB, Hamstring, Out
The game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be Sunday, October 1st with kickoff in the Caesars Superdome being scheduled at noon.