Week 12 was a rough one for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but now it’s time to look ahead to Week 13 and make some bold predictions. The Buccaneers will be back at Raymond James Stadium after almost a month, now hosting the New Orleans Saints in a Monday Night Football showdown.
Tampa Bay is coming off a heartbreaking 23-17 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns. Now at 5-6, the team still remains at the top of its division.
On the other hand, New Orleans suffered a 13-0 shutout loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week. The Saints are now 4-8 and at the bottom of the NFC South.
However, the division is still wide open with all four franchises having a shot at the postseason. The Week 13 result could play a significant role in both teams’ quest of making it to the playoffs. Since Tom Brady and the Bucs have a rough recent history versus the Saints, anything can happen.
With that being said, here are three bold predictions for the Buccaneers as they face the Saints in Week 13 for a Monday night showdown.
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3. Tampa Bay gives Andy Dalton a hard time, sacks him at least three times
Regardless of the struggles in 2022, especially with injuries, Tampa Bay’s defense has had its moments. The unit has not allowed more than 20 points in seven games, yet the team lost two of those games. One of the wins came in New Orleans in Week 2, with the Buccaneers defeating the Saints 20-10.
Tampa Bay is one of the best teams in the NFL regarding attacking the opposing quarterbacks. The Bucs’ defense is No. 3 in the league with 36 sacks. Additionally, it only allows a completion rate of 63.4%, good for No. 12 this year, which is better than playoff contenders such as the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.
On Monday, the Buccaneers will have Andy Dalton ahead of them. The three-time Pro Bowler is coming off a poor performance versus the Niners. He had only 18 completions for a total of 204 yards and no touchdowns. He also got sacked once for a loss of seven yards.
As a team, the Saints are right in the middle of the rankings at No. 16 with 26 allowed sacks.
All things considered, the bold prediction is that Tampa Bay’s defense should prevail over New Orleans’s offensive line. Expect the Bucs to sack Dalton at least three times, which should slow the Saints down.
2. Tom Brady throws for 300+ yards, at least two touchdowns
After a historic 2021 season and an initial retirement, Tom Brady made headlines for coming back to play in 2022. Unfortunately for him, it has been a rough year for both him and the Buccaneers. The team is still battling for a playoff spot and has a real chance of missing it completely.
So far, Brady has completed 66.2% of his pass attempts for 3,051 yards and 14 touchdowns against two picks. After leading the league with 43 passing touchdowns last season, things are not as great as they were in Tampa Bay.
Additionally, he has surpassed 300 passing yards just three times out of 11 games. Against the Saints earlier this year, Brady went 18-for-34 and had a season-low 190 yards.
Still, the bold prediction is that Brady will have one of his best games of the year on Monday. With a lot at stake in the division, he will probably give his best. He will go over 300 passing yards and throw at least two touchdowns, giving the Buccaneers a better chance at an NFC South victory in Week 13.
1. Buccaneers win a one-score game
Since joining the Buccaneers in 2020, Brady has had problems when facing the Saints. Prior to this season, Tampa Bay had lost all four matchups in the regular season, with the only victory coming in the team’s Super Bowl campaign in the playoffs.
In the five contests between the teams before 2022, regular season and playoffs, Brady had a 60% completion rate. He threw for eight touchdowns but also had eight interceptions. In this year’s contest, Brady also did not have one of his best performances.
Because of that, it is probable that Brady and the Bucs still have a chip on their shoulders against the Saints. Still, things should be very competitive on Monday.
According to FanDuel, the Bucs are the favorite to win the game. However, the spread is only -3.5. That means the game should be a close one, with no team opening a comfortable lead.
At the end of the day, Brady’s experience could make a difference. He should know how much the game matters to Tampa Bay’s aspirations in 2022, so expect some highlights from the team. Also, do not be surprised if it goes down to a game-winning drive led by Brady. The Week 13 bold prediction is that the Buccaneers will end up winning, but only by one possession.