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Week 19 - GDT - Divisional round - Buccaneers (12-5) @ Saints (13-4)


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We've got a lot to discuss here, so I'm starting the thread earlier than usual.

This matchup has me chewing my nails a little bit.
Week 1 against the Buccs was close, and we saw a QB under a new HC and in a totally new system with only 1 familiar target, along with no preseason, OTA's, Training Camp etc... and we squeaked it out.
Week 9 against the Buccs was NOT close, and that has me worried. The Saints absolutely dominated that game to the point where the "valuable" Buccs starters were pulled, AND it was Tom Brady's worst loss of his illustrious career. He's not going to let that happen again. And I ask, what did the Saints see on film, and what did they do that made this game such a lopsided contest?

The Saint need to start week 19 like they did week 9. Only allowing 2 first downs in all of the 1st half, and zero points. Whereas the Saints, aside from a lost fumble, could do nothing wrong, and trotted into the locker room with a 31 - 0 lead. Only 10 more points were scored that game, and the Saints were clicking on all cylinders, including picking off Brady 3 times.

So here we are, Week 19, which is different. One of these QB legends is going home with the final loss of the season, and possibly forever. So literally EVERYTHING is on the line for both these teams.

We all know pulling off 3 wins to the same team in the same season is difficult, but it happens. We're seeing continuity with our recently regrouped offense, the defense seems to have gotten over their late season slump and are playing tight, and we're looking to have a fairly healthy roster as a whole. Our FG unit is the only question mark, at this point.

Thoughts, gentleman?

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To me this game always comes down to 1 match up...

 

Lattimore vs Evans

 

When Lattimore wins this matchup... we typically win big. If Lattimore can hold Evans in check and if the Saints get after Tom Brady its a 3 sweep, if not it will be a close contested battle (likely a shootout) and the last team with the ball will likely win.

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41 minutes ago, Mid Iowa said:

We've got a lot to discuss here, so I'm starting the thread earlier than usual.

This matchup has me chewing my nails a little bit.
Week 1 against the Buccs was close, and we saw a QB under a new HC and in a totally new system with only 1 familiar target, along with no preseason, OTA's, Training Camp etc... and we squeaked it out.
Week 9 against the Buccs was NOT close, and that has me worried. The Saints absolutely dominated that game to the point where the "valuable" Buccs starters were pulled, AND it was Tom Brady's worst loss of his illustrious career. He's not going to let that happen again. And I ask, what did the Saints see on film, and what did they do that made this game such a lopsided contest?

The Saint need to start week 19 like they did week 9. Only allowing 2 first downs in all of the 1st half, and zero points. Whereas the Saints, aside from a lost fumble, could do nothing wrong, and trotted into the locker room with a 31 - 0 lead. Only 10 more points were scored that game, and the Saints were clicking on all cylinders, including picking off Brady 3 times.

So here we are, Week 19, which is different. One of these QB legends is going home with the final loss of the season, and possibly forever. So literally EVERYTHING is on the line for both these teams.

We all know pulling off 3 wins to the same team in the same season is difficult, but it happens. We're seeing continuity with our recently regrouped offense, the defense seems to have gotten over their late season slump and are playing tight, and we're looking to have a fairly healthy roster as a whole. Our FG unit is the only question mark, at this point.

Thoughts, gentleman?

For me the biggest things on offense will be Payton sticking with what makes us successful, not too many Sean Payton "trick plays". Also, Brees not playing hero ball. I think if we stick with what got us here, the Bucs are going to have a tough time stopping our offense. If Brees buys into the hype of this game against Tom Brady, and decides he's going to try and recapture the "glory years" of dropping bombs deep down the field...We're in trouble.

On defense, if our DL plays up to their ability (hope Hendrickson can play), I don't think there is much the Bucs can do on offense to stop our pressure from the DL. Arians and Brady won't be able to get that deep ball system really going.

That said, I'm about as nervous for this game as any in recent memory given the playoff stakes and it being Brees last game if we lose.

Edited by tyler735
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28 minutes ago, tyler735 said:

 If Brees buys into the hype of this game against Tom Brady, and decides he's going to try and recapture the "glory years" of dropping bombs deep down the field...We're in trouble.

 

Oh god please no.

IMO, this game is all about getting after Brady.  We can't realistically cover all those weapons, gotta cut them off at the head.  Getting consistent pressure on Brady has always been the way to beat him, same with Brees also.  

If both teams pressure the other QB well, I think advantage goes to us, as they like to sit back and drop bombs constantly.

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38 minutes ago, Jlowe22 said:

Oh god please no.

IMO, this game is all about getting after Brady.  We can't realistically cover all those weapons, gotta cut them off at the head.  Getting consistent pressure on Brady has always been the way to beat him, same with Brees also.  

If both teams pressure the other QB well, I think advantage goes to us, as they like to sit back and drop bombs constantly.

Totally agree! Sounds like Trey Hendrickson was a limited practice participant today, so hopefully he will be good to go by Sunday.

 

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2 hours ago, Mid Iowa said:

Thoughts, gentleman?

I feel about this game like I felt about Chicago. We're the better team and we should win. I don't think Tampa's secondary can keep us as contained as Chicago's did early on - it's been their weakness all year. I know their run defense can be stout, though, and that presents the Payton / Brees trap of thinking Drew has to save us with bombs. I'd love to see us hold the ball for ages and wear them down slowly. Games don't usually play out like that, though. If we make a bunch of mistakes and find ourselves in a deep hole, it could be a long day. Or they could make a bunch of mistakes and let us beat them senseless again, and I'm fine with that. I have a feeling it'll be closer this time.

That said, I didn't want this third matchup. I hoped someone else would beat them instead of us. "Playoff Brady" and all of that, right? I suppose it had to be us, though. If Drew's going to win a second ring, clearly he has to beat Brady 3x and Rodgers at least once. Probably Mahomes once, too. Looking only at this game, we have beaten a division foe 3x recently - Carolina, either last season or the one before - so I'm not buying that ju-ju. They were a much weaker team than the Bucs are, but this Saints team is also a lot better than the teams of the past 2 years. We're maybe not the strongest team in any one discipline but we're strong in all of them. I'm hoping that matters more in the end.

There's no way to look at this game as a fan and not feel like we're in the stronger position. At home, having won the previous two games decisively, the advantage is with us. Doesn't mean we'll win or that it won't be close enough to stop our hearts multiple times in the final moments of the game... but on Sunday evening, you'd probably much rather be the Saints than the Bucs. We should win this game, and I'm just going to go into the weekend thinking that we will until proven wrong. 😁

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17 minutes ago, tyler735 said:

Trey Hendrickson was a Full Participant in practice today. Should have all our DL ready to go for Sunday, which will obviously be huge as we need to get pressure on Brady to slow their offense down.

I think huge is an understatement. I think that is THE MATCH UP which will determine how this game goes. If our D-line can't constantly get pressure on Brady we'll be in a shootout. If we can constantly get pressure on him, and force them to abandon the run, I think we can take this game. Getting T-Rex back is massive, him added to the rotation with Davenport and Cameron keeps all our DE's fresh. We really need our D-line to have a dominant game in the pass rush department. That includes the interior line too.

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1 hour ago, Canadian Saint said:

I think huge is an understatement. I think that is THE MATCH UP which will determine how this game goes. If our D-line can't constantly get pressure on Brady we'll be in a shootout. If we can constantly get pressure on him, and force them to abandon the run, I think we can take this game. Getting T-Rex back is massive, him added to the rotation with Davenport and Cameron keeps all our DE's fresh. We really need our D-line to have a dominant game in the pass rush department. That includes the interior line too.

Agreed.  Our team depends on the trenches, keep Brees clean, offense rolls.  Get pressure, defense rolls.  This matchup in particular we really need our dline to dominate like we know they can.

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15 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

Agreed.  Our team depends on the trenches, keep Brees clean, offense rolls.  Get pressure, defense rolls.  This matchup in particular we really need our dline to dominate like we know they can.

San Francisco made it to the Super Bowl with a D-line full of 1st round pick.
With several of those players injured, they became mediocre overnight.

So yes, I agree with your statement 100%. 
Payton has always been able to get our team fired up to play Brady & Crew, regardless of where Brady was playing. Some of Brady's worst losses have been to a Payton coached team.

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39 minutes ago, Mid Iowa said:

San Francisco made it to the Super Bowl with a D-line full of 1st round pick.
With several of those players injured, they became mediocre overnight.

So yes, I agree with your statement 100%. 
Payton has always been able to get our team fired up to play Brady & Crew, regardless of where Brady was playing. Some of Brady's worst losses have been to a Payton coached team.

In my opinion, trenches are number 1 priority.  Up there with QB, but slightly behind.  My priorities would be in this order:

1. QB

2 Oline/Dline

3. Secondary/LB

4. Skill positions

Swap 3 and 4 depending on your personnel and team style.  
 

I know everyone thinks trenches are important, that’s a given.  But I think people overlook and underestimate just how important they are.  We’ve seen HoF QBs, including Brady and Rodgers, get dominated by poor OL play or great pass rush.  But give them time, they’ll complete a pass regardless of who is covering who.

Just look at Rodgers this year, at least two OL are all pros, and may have been more I’m forgetting.  Same with Brady and Brees, when they play like crap you can almost always point to some poor OL play.  Not that they are infallible, and QBs can help their oline out, but it’s just too hard to overcome sub par play in the trenches.

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On 1/15/2021 at 3:25 PM, tyler735 said:

Trey Hendrickson was a Full Participant in practice today. Should have all our DL ready to go for Sunday, which will obviously be huge as we need to get pressure on Brady to slow their offense down.

I have a feeling the Saints are gonna show up and perform really well tommorow. I don't think its going to be a blowout like last meeting but i do believe it will be a more decisive victory than the 1st meeting.

 

I say this because the Saints are the better team and should win and they have absolutely zero excuses. Yes I know anything can happen especially with Tom Brady accross the field but the time has come for this Saints squad to put up or shut up.

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2 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

Welp, if we win the superbowl, we gotta go through Brady, Rodgers, and may as well say Mahomes.

With old man Brees.

If this team meets Rodgers (who is the MVP) in the next round in Green Bay, plays a competive game and loses... Id understand. 

 

If they reach the Superbowl and lose to the AFC champs... Id understand.

 

If they lose to a divisional rival who they already beat twice (blew out last time) in the divisional round this season will be a failure.

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7 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

If this team meets Rodgers (who is the MVP) in the next round in Green Bay, plays a competive game and loses... Id understand. 

 

If they reach the Superbowl and lose to the AFC champs... Id understand.

 

If they lose to a divisional rival who they already beat twice (blew out last time) in the divisional round this season will be a failure.

Agree.  Although there is a good chance of it happening unfortunately.

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