Well, that was awesome.
Even though we only went 1/5 on our predictions last week, the one that came through was ultimately the most important prediction - and that was that the Bucs would win the game.
But as they say in the NFL, it’s on to the next game. The Saints are in the past. Now it’s time to face off against the world champion Philadelphia Eagles.
So what are some crazy ideas to consider this weekend? Here are this week’s bold predictions.
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick will throw for less than 250 yards and two touchdowns (Evan)
Historically speaking, Fitzpatrick tends to shrink from the spotlight after a big game. He has thrown for four or more touchdowns in a game seven times during his career.
However, he only averages one touchdown and around 226 passing yards during the following game.
Even though the Saints were thought to be much improved on defense, the Eagles showed how good theirs was in last Thursday’s win over the Falcons.
Unless Tampa Bay is playing catch-up late in the game, I believe Fitzpatrick comes back down to earth.
2. Mike Evans will lead the Bucs in receiving again (Evan)
Whether it be another 147-yard performance or an 80-yard performance, Evans will lead the team in receiving for the second straight week.
He’s simply been playing out of his mind since training camp began and that has rolled over into the regular season so far. Despite the Eagles’ excellent defense, Evans will find ways to make plays.
Jim Schwartz proved against the Falcons that he can allow your best player (Julio Jones) to have a great night and it won’t even matter if he shuts down the rest of the offense.
Evans - like Jones - is a matchup nightmare. Schwartz will let him do his thing, but the Eagles will stay on track defensively.
3. Carlton Davis gets his first career interception. (Alex)
The rookie struggled in his first career game, but as head coach Dirk Koetter said, Davis performed about as well as any rookie in that situation would have. With all due respect to Nick Foles, he is not Drew Brees in any way shape or form. Foles will try and pick on the rookie, like the Saints did, but this time Davis comes up big.
Since day one, I have loved what I’ve seen from Davis, not only on the field, but off of it as well. He has the confidence to bounce back after a rough game and what better way to do it then against the defending Super Bowl champions.
4. Peyton Barber explodes for big game (Alex)
Yes, I know, very bold, especially against the Eagles front seven. Barber, who rushed for 69 yards on 19 carries, had plenty of wide open holes in the first half, but not many in the second half. With the Eagles coming to town, look for the Buccaneers to try and wear them down in the run game. Atlanta didn’t succeed, but the opportunity for Tampa Bay will be there, especially if they are up in the second half again.
Bold stat line prediction for Barber: 26 carries, 120 yards, 2 touchdowns.
5. The Eagles will record at least three sacks (Evan)
I don’t blame you if you believe me to be a Schwartz fanboy after this - but the dude is legitimately one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL. He will show that this Sunday.
The child-eating ogre known as Fletcher Cox and the rest of the Eagles’ defensive line will force Tampa Bay’s offensive line into enough mistakes where they will give up at least three sacks on the day.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem likely considering the fact that the Bucs’ offensive line didn’t give up a single sack against the Saints and that was with stalwart Cameron Jordan manning one of the end spots.
But Dennis Allen is no Schwartz and the Bucs will find that out the hard way come Sunday.