The New Orleans Saints visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday night in the biggest game on the upcoming schedule. With the two teams separated by just half-game in the NFC South, the winner of the Week 9 matchup will be in the driver’s seat for the division title.

Tampa Bay sits atop the NFC South as the No.2 seed in the conference. New Orleans has won the division three years in a row, and a victory Sunday would give them the all-important tiebreaker over the Buccaneers.

The Saints defeated the Bucs 34-23 in the 2020 season opener. In his first game with Tampa Bay, Tom Brady threw two interceptions, including a pick-six. His 78.4 passer rating was his worst of the season.

Since that Week 1 loss, Brady has performed at an MVP-level. The quarterback has 18 touchdown passes and just two interceptions over that span, leading Tampa Bay to six victories in seven games. The Bucs’ only loss was a one-point defeat in Chicago.

While Brady continues to dodge Father Time, Drew Brees hasn’t been able to escape him completely. The 41-year-old is still efficient with a 106.5 passer rating, though he’s mostly been limited to short throws.

Alvin Kamara has carried New Orleans’ offense in its current four-game winning streak. In addition to 431 yards on the ground, the running back has recorded 55 receptions and 556 yards this season.

Michael Thomas, arguably the best receiver in football, hasn’t played since the Saints defeated the Bucs in Week 1. Thomas is practicing this week and could return to the lineup Sunday night.

The Bucs are favored by four points, according to betting lines compiled by OddsShark. The over/under is 50.5.

Tampa Bay’s edge comes on defense, where they rank third in the NFL and surrender just 20.6 points per game. New Orleans is giving up 28.1 points per contest, and they haven’t held a single opponent below 23 points.

The Saints have scored at least 24 points in each game. That streak could continue, but their inability to get stops will cost them in a close finish.

Prediction: Tampa Bay over New Orleans, 27-24

Tom Brady Buccaneers Saints
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chris Graythen/Getty Images