The Tampa Bay Bucs will win the NFC South

The Saints looked terrible this Monday, and rust had little to do with it.

click to enlarge The Tampa Bay Bucs will win the NFC South
Screengrab via Tampa Bay Bucaneers

Calling it now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win the NFC South. This is not an overreaction. This is not getting swept up in the moment.

The Saints looked terrible this Monday, and rust had little to do with it. They looked very beatable. 

They were playing the Las Vegas Raiders and got thoroughly dominated 34-24. Given, the Saints’ star receiver Michael Thomas was out due to an ankle injury (and took to Twitter to perform his usual annoying antics that have made him one of the more irritating players in the league, also deleting the Tweets where he was talking trash about the game he wasn’t playing in because the Saints ended up getting manhandled), and depending on what an MRI by the Packers’ team doctor shows, he could be out at least another week.

The Bucs, however, have the Broncos this week (who recently signed Blake Bortles to replace the injured Drew Lock… yeah), the Chargers in Week 3 (their medical staff is reported to have accidentally punctured starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s lung last week before their game against the Chiefs), and the Bears in Week 4. Let’s say Tom's team goes go 2-1 (although 3-0 is a definite possibility) in that span, making the squad 3-2 to start the year. Not bad, right?

The Saints have to play Green Bay this weekend (loss), then face the Lions and Chargers. With the way the offense looked against a very suspect Las Vegas Raider defense that gave up 30 points to the Saints’ backup quarterback last year (Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers), I could see the Saints going 0-3 in that span. I mean, Drew Brees doesn’t seem able to throw the ball further than 10 yards down the field. It’s pathetic. He was already incredibly reliant upon screens and five-yard slants to Michael Thomas, but now he can only seem to throw those two passes. Even with Thomas, against the Bucs and their young secondary (no starting corner or safety is over 23), Brees looked hesitant to throw the ball down the field. 

Take a look at Bress’ numbers through his first two games. Remove all the yardage-after-catch his receivers have accumulated, take that number and average it out per completion. He’s throwing the ball a whopping 3.4 yards down the field per completion. For comparison, Tom Brady’s numbers when you do the same calculation: six yards per completion. Yeesh. I thought Brady was supposed to be the one that threw short passes every play. 

As bad as the Saints have looked in the playoffs these past five years, they might be in trouble in the regular season, too. Could we see Saints backup and former Buc Jameis Winston get some playing time if Brees continues to struggle? Speaking as a former fantasy owner of Brees (I cut him this week after he laid another turd on the field both fantasy-wise and in actual football terms), I would gladly add Winston to replace Brees (not that anyone asked but I have Joe Burrow starting now after his stellar start to the season). 

All of this to say, Bucs fans, rejoice. The reign of the Saints dominating every regular season then choking in the playoffs may be coming to an end. Maybe it’s karma for the Saints being accused of using their PR team to help shape a “pedophile list” for the Roman Catholic church in the New Orleans area

Of course, now that I’ve written this, the Saints will probably go 14-0 to finish the year, the Bucs will go 7-9 again, and the Saints will get knocked out by Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears in the playoffs on a game-winning field goal (the Saints have to pick a different mediocre quarterback to lose to in the playoffs every year; Case Keenum, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, might as well make it Trubisky this year). Sigh.

Send hate Tweets to @CTBrantley12.

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