The New Orleans Saints have lost three of their last four games and are looking to return to serious playoff contention when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road in Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season. A win here can potentially put the Saints within striking distance of the top spot in the NFC South. Here are our Saints Week 13 predictions as they take on the Buccaneers.

Following a 13-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the Saints will travel to Raymond James Stadium to play the Buccaneers, who enter the game at 5-6. This Monday Night Football game is essentially a match of two teams sliding down the standings.

Weirdly enough, though, both teams are also still very much alive in the NFC South race. A win here for New Orleans would secure a season series split and make an already close division race with Tampa Bay even tighter. Of course, there’s the payback element as well as the Bucs already beat the Saints earlier this season back on September 18.

Take note that Dennis Allen hasn’t exactly wowed anyone in his first 12 games as Saints head coach. That said, he was in charge last year when they trounced the Bucs 9-0 at home on Sunday Night Football. Perhaps he can rekindle some of that magic. After all, the Saints defense did put in a strong performance against the Niners on Sunday.

With all these in mind, here are our four bold predictions for the Saints in their Week 13 game against the Buccaneers.

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4. CB Marshon Lattimore plays

If defense will be the Saints’ calling card here, then cornerback Marshon Lattimore must return to the pitch. He has missed seven games due to two fractured ribs and a lacerated kidney, but he returned to practice on a limited basis last week. He was listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the 49ers, and he has been “upgraded” to questionable for Monday Night.

We expect he’ll continue to be upgraded over the weekend and actually play against the Bucs. He certainly could be of is in the Saints secondary. Remember that Lattimore is a game-changing talent who can take half the field away. He has also done well against Mike Evans before, so that’s added motivation for coach Allen to play him. Also, the Saints are already shorthanded at cornerback with Bradley Roby in concussion protocol. Let Lattimore play and watch him work.

3. WR Chris Olave puts up a triple-digit game

Standout Saints wide receiver Chris Olave caught five of nine receptions for 62 yards in their loss on Sunday. Yes, the offense in New Orleans struggled as a whole, but Olave was able to deliver against a tough defense.

The talented rookie actually may have had a larger game if quarterback Andy Dalton hadn’t faltered. Remember that Olave almost made two circus receptions on poorly-thrown balls that would have resulted in 30-plus yards and even a score. Olave is still the Saints’ obvious No. 1 wideout heading into this crucial division game against the Buccaneers.

We have him going over 100+ yards for only the fourth time this season when he faces Tampa Bay on Monday.

2. QB Andy Dalton continues to lead the Saints

In Sunday’s 13-0 loss to the 49ers, Andy Dalton completed 18-of-29 pass attempts for 204 yards and scrambled four times for 21 yards.

For Dalton and the rest of the Saints offense, it was a game to forget. They were shut out for the first time since 2002. Aside from a handful of errant throws, the veteran quarterback actually performed okay. He recorded his second consecutive game with 200 passing yards and no turnovers. “Okay” may not be good enough against the Bucs, though.

Take note as well that the Saints haven’t made any public statements regarding a quarterback swap. Still, we would be pretty surprised if coach Allen returns to Jameis Winston on Monday.
Yes, we know that in three of the Saints’ previous four games, Dalton has scored 13, 10, and 0 points. However, Winston is a bigger wildcard than Dalton is, and remember that it was Winston under center when they lost to Tampa Bay in September.

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Dalton should go over 200+ yards again here.

1. Saints fail to get payback on the Bucs

Last September, Tampa Bay defeated New Orleans, 20-10, in the Caesars Superdome in a tough defensive standoff. Of course, the Saints want payback.

Having said that, though, remember that both of these teams are simply too inconsistent right now. Still, it’s difficult to imagine Tom Brady and the Bucs dropping their second straight game in a crucial divisional matchup against an inferior Saints squad.

We expect Brady & Co. to use last week’s overtime loss to the Browns and their history with the Saints as motivation to win at home and sweep beat New Orleans this season.

Additionally, this is likely to be a sloppy game. We also think the Saints must play near-perfect football to have a shot of winning here. They will almost certainly lose if they turn the ball over at all.