The New Orleans Saints return from their bye week seeking their second win of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
New Orleans may have turned a corner from their 0-4 start after beating the San Diego Chargers 31-24 behind quarterback Drew Brees’ four touchdown passes and 370 yards in the air.
The Saints faced a 24-14 deficit after Chargers running back Ryan Matthews scored on a 13-yard run early in the third quarter, but receiver Marques Colston answered with receiving scores of five and 16 yards and New Orleans never looked back.
Offense has never been a problem for the Saints during the Brees era, but their defense remains one of the worst in the NFL, with New Orleans giving up an average of 30.8 points per game and they are second to last in rush defense.
While the best thing the Buccaneers do is stuff the run, only allowing 75 yards per game.
Tampa Bay played to their strength’s and stopped the NFL’s leading rusher, Kansas City Chief Jamaal Charles, en route to a 38-10 win last week.
Quarterback Josh Freeman led the offense with his first 300 yard passing game of the season, with 328 yards and three touchdowns. Freeman also had a passer rating of 124.7, the highest he’s produced since Week 17 in 2010 against New Orleans.
Receiver Mike Williams had four catches for 113 yards and a touchdown, and Ronde Barber returned an interception 78 yards for a score in the third quarter.
The Buccaneers hopes for a winning streak may be dashed Sunday, unless their 31st ranked passing defense can stop the dangerous Brees and New Orleans' No. 1 passing attack. Brees is averaging almost 327 passing yards a game.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by FOX, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: New Orleans is favored by 3 points
Over/Under: 50 points
Prediction: If Freeman can dominate the Saints like he did Kansas City, it could be a long day for Brees and company. Look for Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin to have a big day as well in a Buccaneers win.
Predicted Score: Tampa Bay 31, New Orleans 27