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Week 1 GDT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) @ New Orleans Saints (0-0): The last dance or the retirement tour?

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Well Saints fans, it's that time of year again. Hopes and dreams are still there. The goal of an elusive superbowl still lives. A team who will look to work as a unit towards a single goal. For our very own New Orleans Saints, up first is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A team for the majority of the last decade has been perpetually obselete. Failed rebuilds, failed head coaches, failed free agents. You name it, they've done it. However this year is different. Of course this year they have Tom Brady. Yes the same Tom Brady, winner of MVPs, Super bowl MVPs and superbowls. Arguabely the GOAT QB at the helm, under head coach Bruce Arians. They also added favoured TE target Gronkowski. With their stable of WRs, their offense, on paper, seems potent. However best laid plans and all that. 

Now I haven't been a Saints fan as long as many of you. However, in my life time I don't think I've seen a more stacked Saints team. Going into the season, I don't see a gaping Mariana's trench size hole on this team. Last year we had questions abour WR2 and CB2. Both of those have seemingly been answered by Emmanual Sanders and Janoris Jenkins. Our O-line got retooled so it's faster by selecting C Ceser Ruiz in the 1st round. Malcolm Jenkins comes back to replace Vonn Bell as SS, and should help Marcus Williams and add a veteran voice to the secondary. Lastly, our own aging potential GOAT QB in Brees is returning. After brief speculation about retirement after a let down against the Vikings (F the Vikings) in the playoffs, he returns for should be his last dance.

Keys to the game:

- Defense has to perform. Brady, Gronk, Evans, the other really good WR, and Fournette is a very potent offense on paper. Our secondary cannot screw around. We can't have Marcus Williams taking bad angles or screwing up tackles. Can't have Jenkins be rusty as he's got Gronk duty. Lattimore and Jenkins have to be sharp because they have Evans and the other WR duty. We also have to get pressure on Brady. This isn't the Patriots set up when they'll pull some random O-linemen off the street and make him a probowler. Jordan and Davenport have to be terrors off the edges. Will be interesting to see how Rankins looks after his offseason surgery and removing a deformed bone in his heel. Reports look good.

- Offense has to be methodical. Take your time. The best chance to beat Brady has always been to not let him get into a rhythm. He's got to work with a new team, new coach, new players for the first time in his career. Take. Your. Time. Quick strike offenses are great, but the last thing we want is a shoot out with these guys.

- Rookies have to step up. Ooooof what a test. Ruiz and Baun are both going to be asked to perform from week 1. Ruiz is protecting our most important player and Baun is going to have to help with Gronk and getting to Brady. It's not an easy ask but if they want to have NFL careers, they need to rise to the occasion.

Prediction:

I think familiarity helps us, especially on a veteran team. I know in camp we gave a bunch of rest days to our veterans to keep them fresh. That's going to help.

34-17 New Orleans Saints.

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Let's hope we don't start out slow like we usually do.

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I like our chances in this one. Too many big changes for the Bucs offense without a preseason for them to really fire on all cylinders coming out of the gate this year.

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Haven't been this excited for a Saints regular season game in sometime. I'm hoping Drew Brees goes full Michael Jordan and takes it personal that Brady thinks he can hone in on his turf. I'm also excited just to see this new look Bucs offense, rivals though they are. I like our roster but I don't have high expectations for this defense in general, especially not this early, and definitely not against the talent on Tampa, but firmly we believe the Saints can come out with a W here. 

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I'm looking forward to seeing the Saints season, and hopefully watch them blossom nicely.

I hate, absolutely hate playing a "new" team. We've gotten just a little taste of Bruce Arians, but not much. We've always done well against Brady, until the last few minutes of the game. I hate playing a team that we have no film on. Other than the Tampa D, we have no film. Their offense is so new and remodeled, we're going to be adjusting on the fly, and that has never been Payton's strong suit, let alone Denis Allen's.

I think this game is going to be tight, like a 31-28 or something close to that.

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Here's something I found really fun. A note from NOLA.com

Last season, Brees became the 61st NFL player to play in a game after his 40th birthday. But it’s taken until this week for two 40-year-old quarterbacks to face off. And as it currently stands, Brady and Brees are the two oldest active players on NFL rosters.

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23 minutes ago, sammymvpknight said:

Davenport is out...per tradition.

What happens to "an elbow" that a D-end missed the season opener? I'm guessing it's not good, and it makes me wonder about future games. Soreness isn't going to keep a guy out...

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3 hours ago, Mid Iowa said:

What happens to "an elbow" that a D-end missed the season opener? I'm guessing it's not good, and it makes me wonder about future games. Soreness isn't going to keep a guy out...

Combine with how hard we went after Clowney, I don't think it's a 1-2 week injury. Supremely disappointing regarding Davenport.

Granderson flashed in camp and Hendrickson is solid, hopefully both of them are up to the task. Since Baun is healthy, I wonder if he gets a solid amount of snaps there as well on passing downs.

Ruiz is also out, so Easton should draw in at OG. He did pretty well there last season, so I'm more confident in him filling in.

Evans is doubtful for Sunday, so it gives our secondary a break if their WR1 is also out. Still have a scary offense on paper.

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Between lack of fans and the refs not knowing what Pass Interference is it looks like it's going to be a long game.  Hopefully they can pull it together and start pushing it downfield since the refs are seemingly being very generous in calling PI.

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Our offense looks like crap, and our D is getting robbed.

I'll be out on my Harley if anyone needs me.

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1 minute ago, Mid Iowa said:

Our offense looks like crap, and our D is getting robbed.

I'll be out on my Harley if anyone needs me.

What is our offensive playcalling.  Nothing that even has a route going past 5 yards so far it seems.

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Looking like the retirement tour.  To be fair though, the Bucs with Brady instead of Jameis will probably be beastly.

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There's so many names in this game it feels like a pro bowl (from years ago). Until I saw them on the field I forgot all of: Rob Gronkowski, Lesean Mccoy, and Ndamokong Suh were on the Buccaneers. This is a weird game where it doesnt feel like we're playing amazing but also feels like the Saints are convincingly in control, like one of those unspectacular but standard Belichick/Patriots wins

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