Two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history will meet for the second time this season, as Drew Brees and Tom Brady will go head-to-head in a pivotal NFC South matchup.
The Saints, who defeated the Chicago Bears in overtime in Week 8, are 5-2 on the season and have won four straight games. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, are atop the NFC South standings with a record of 6-2. Brady and Co. defeated the lowly New York Giants in Week 8 on Monday Night Football for Tampa Bay's third consecutive win.
Brady will have a new weapon to throw to against the Saints, as former superstar wideout Antonio Brown will make his Buccaneers debut. The Saints and Buccaneers will play on Sunday Night Football on NBC, which is fitting since it's going to be a really entertaining game between Brees and Brady, who are battling for the all-time touchdowns lead.
With the game almost here, let's take a look at four bold predictions for the contest from a New Orleans point of view.
1. Drew Brees throws two touchdown passes
Brees is dealing with a minor shoulder injury, but he's obviously going to play against the Buccaneers. At this stage of his career—Brees is 41—the future Hall of Famer is probably going to deal with soreness in his body every week.
In Week 1 against the Buccaneers, Brees went 18-of-30 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 60.0 percent of his passes and didn't turn the ball over.
While his arm strength isn't what it used to be, Brees is still as methodical as they come. He can move the Saints down the field with short passes and then have the occasional deep ball to keep opposing defenses on their toes.
Against the Buccaneers in Week 9, we have Brees throwing for two touchdowns. The 13-time Pro Bowler has 13 touchdowns on the season and only three picks. He's racked up 1,898 yards through the air and is 19-10 against the Buccaneers in his career with 57 touchdown passes.
2. Alvin Kamara records 100 yards from scrimmage, scores one touchdown
Arguably the most dynamic offensive player in the NFL, Saints star running back Alvin Kamara has registered 987 yards from scrimmage for the Saints this season. The elusive back has carried the ball 87 times for 431 yards and four touchdowns and caught 55 balls from Brees for 556 yards and three scores.
Against the Buccaneers, we have Kamara recording 100 yards from scrimmage and scoring one touchdown. The 25-year-old has surprisingly not scored a touchdown since Week 4 against the Detroit Lions. Look for that to change against a Buccaneers defense which is coming off a short week after playing on Monday Night Football versus the Giants.
3. Taysom Hill scores a touchdown for second straight game
Saints back up quarterback Taysom Hill caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Brees in Week 8 against the Bears for his first receiving touchdown of the season. His only rushing score of the campaign came in Week 5 at home versus the Los Angeles Chargers.
We have Hill scoring a touchdown against the Buccaneers, as Saints head coach Sean Payton loves to use the 30-year-old and is always trying to find different ways to get the ball in his hands.
While Hill has never reached the end zone against the Buccaneers, look for that to change in Week 9 down in Florida with the entire football world watching in a primetime affair.
4. Saints defeat Buccaneers to improve to 6-2
This is a huge game since the Buccaneers are ahead of the Saints in the division and New Orleans defeated Tampa Bay in Week 1. While the Bucs are playing really well right now, they did struggle on offense in Week 8 against the Giants and the Saints' defense is much better than New York's.
The Saints are also slowly but surely regaining their offensive mojo after starting the season slow on that end. We have New Orleans defeating Tampa Bay for the second time this season and improving to 6-2. The game will likely come down to the last possession, so don't be surprised if Saints kicker Wil Lutz has to kick another game-winner. He hit the field goal in overtime in Week 8 against the Bears to give New Orleans the win in Chicago.
With Brees getting older, this season could be his last chance to win his second Super Bowl with the Saints. With that said, New Orleans has to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs and going 2-0 against Brady and the Buccaneers in the regular season would be a huge step in accomplishing that goal.