For the second consecutive season, the Buccaneers have started their season 2-0 with a huge win against the New Orleans Saints on the road. Before the game, the Bucs Nation staff made some predictions, how right or wrong were they?
This season we are going to be analyzing each prediction and see if it was on the money or off the mark. Let’s get into it.
Gil Arcia: Jordan is gonna be Jordan
“Look, I can’t sugarcoat the fact this offensive line is filled with question marks. And the other fact that the Saints defensive front has had their number even when Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa, and Ryan Jensen were playing, not sure this current line can keep Tom Brady clean. New Orleans’ pass rush beast Cam Jordan will have three sacks Sunday and one may very well be a strip sack.”
For the second straight week, Gil is probably wishing he could have a do over on this one as not only did Cam Jordan fail to get three sacks against Tampa Bay... he failed to get any. Jordan finished the day with just three total tackles and no sacks. Bucs pass protection had a strong game on Sunday. Hopefully Gil can get back on track next week.
James Yarcho: Defense wins the day
“Gil is probably right and we know that the Bucs’ offense has struggled against the Saints - especially in the Tom Brady era. The Bucs haven’t won a regular season road game in New Orleans since Fitzmagic and DJax went ham back in 2018. But it won’t be squarely on the shoulders of Tom Brady this time around. The Tampa Bay defense will get in the end zone twice this week.”
James Yarcho was very close on his prediction last week and this week is no different. The defense found the end zone once on a pick six by safety Mike Edwards late in the game to seal the victory. The Bucs defense continues to shine early on in the season.
Evan Wanish: 45 will continue to get live
“Devin White flashed a ton on Sunday night in Dallas, racking up two sacks and flying around in coverage. White is entering a big year for himself and he got off to a great start in week one. He will continue to have success blitzing as he will again have two more sacks this week against New Orleans.”
This week I had Devin White getting two sacks and I was almost there! White continued his strong play against the Saints as he had one sack so unfortunately I did not hit the nail right on the head but I will take being half right. White now has three sacks in Tampa Bay’s first two games.
Mike Kiwak: Keep pounding the rock
“The Bucs’ running game looked diverse, dangerous and competent against Dallas as Leonard Fournette recorded his highest rushing yard total since joining the team. It’s just one game, but they’re primed to replicate their success against a Saints team that allowed more than 200 yards rushing against the Falcons. I predict Fournette and Rachaad White both run for 75+ yards and at least two scores.”
This prediction was off, but it was not for the Bucs lack of trying. Tampa Bay continued to try and establish the run game throughout the day, but there was nothing doing. Fournette ran the ball 24 times for 65 yards and no touchdowns while White only had two carries for one yard and no scores. It was tough sledding for the Bucs run game on Sunday.
Chris Weingarten: Trench Warfare
“The battle to control the line of scrimmage is paramount in determining who will win this game. Although the Bucs were dealing with injuries on their offensive line, they were able to run the ball quite effectively last week. I look for a similar gameplan this week, that will produce similar results. The Saints defense has been good for a long time, but it seems like Father Time may be catching up to them. I believe the Bucs will ground and pound their way to a hard-fought victory, with the winning score coming from one of the three tight ends (Brate, Otton, or Kieft) on a beautiful play action pass in the red zone.”
Very similar to the previous prediction, the Bucs tried to run the ball on Sunday but unlike in Dallas the week before, they were unable to have success against the New Orleans run defense. The tight ends also were really a non-factor in this one as Camero Brate had one catch for nine yards and Cade Otton had one catch for four yards. Ko Kieft dropped his only target of the day and was not as effective of a blocker as he was in week one. The tight end room will look to bounce back next week.
Will Walsh: Jameis Winston’s revenge game... Pressure is key.
“The atmosphere for this Sunday’s game is primed to be electric. Week two is New Orleans’ home opener so the dome will be buzzing. This will also be former franchise quarterback Jameis Winston’s first official ‘revenge game’ against the Bucs. The Saints are likely to come out of the gates hot and the easiest way for the Buccaneers to cool them off is a couple of timely Jameis Winston turnovers. In order to end their regular season losing streak against New Orleans the Bucs must put pressure on Winston. No pressure, no picks. No picks, no victory. The Buccaneers defense will need a second consecutive four sack performance to rattle Winston and force him into mistakes. Pressure is key, a clean pocket spells a clean game for Jameis and trouble for the Bucs.”
Will had a nice prediction this week as the Bucs were able to get pressure on Winston early and often, tallying up six sacks and forced five turnovers on defenders, including three interceptions. The Bucs defense has been stellar to start the year and they hope it continues.
The Bucs are 2-0 and are now winning with their defense rather than their offense. They now face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this week in the home opener in front of the Buccaneers fans. Let’s hope for a 3-0 start to the 2022 campaign.