The Saints will look to get back to their winning ways this Sunday. However, it will have to come against another division foe in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The black and gold will need to alter their scheme after a let down game against the Falcons last week. The Bucs are always a formidable opponent whenever they line up against us. Here are several keys to how the Saints can come up with a redemption win on the road:
Get The Murray Train Going
Last week, the Saints only ran the ball eleven times. They need to change that philosophy against the Bucs. Tampa comes in with the leading the league in rush defense, only giving up 77.8 yards a game. However, the Saints have shown they are capable of running the ball on tough defenses. Latavius Murray needs to get around 15-20 touches on the ground if they want to be able to expose the Tampa secondary. It is also a big factor in controlling the clock. Let us hope they do not shy away from it or it will be a long day.
Next Man Up
Marshon Lattimore, unfortunately, will not play this game due to a hamstring injury. This means that Eli Apple and PJ Williams will have their hands full. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are one of the best duos of wide receivers in the NFL. We hope that Dennis Allen will have a game plan to where neither of them has any big plays. More importantly, keep a close on CJ Gardner-Johnson in the slot corner position. His speed and athleticism may be targeted early and often, but he has proven so far that he can hold his own.
Deonte Harris has been an x-factor for the Saints on special teams. He has had several big returns this year including a punt return touchdown in Week 3. However, he will also be out this game with an hamstring injury. This means someone will have to step up in the return game and makes some big plays. Taysom Hill will likely be on kickoffs and we know he is capable of making big gains. Alvin Kamara may see time as a punt returner but that depends on how healthy is really is.
Someone Needs To Step Up
Michael Thomas is the best wide receiver in the league. However, he cannot be the only guy catching passes on the field. Jared Cook is coming along and had a great game last week. It is the other receivers who need to step up and make plays for this offense. They are going up against the worst passing defense and need to take advantage of it from the start. This was a big problem for us last year down the stretch and we cannot afford to have a repeat performance like that.
Hold Down The Fort
The Falcons were able to control the clock which lead to them beating the Saints last Sunday. The Saints had won the time of possession battle in every game up to that point. They need to find a balance on offense and control the clock from start to finish. If they are capable of getting 30-35 minutes of possession, it should be a clear path to victory. In that same sense, they also need to protect Drew Brees and secure the football. The Bucs are a team who will always fight, but if you let them in early they can burn you and pull off an upset.