We all watched the Heinecke show and gulped: “Brees will shred this defense.” But the Washington game gives reasons to think the Bucs can take the Saints, and more specifically that Brady and the offense can play good enough to overcome the defense’s shortcomings. First, the Saints defense is quite similar to WFT: WFT DVOA -19%, Saints -20.3%. The stats bear this out:
Pass Yds/G (WFT 191.8; NO 217.0)
Opposing QBR (WFT 81.4; NO 83.3)
Sacks (WFT 47; NO 45)
It stands to reason that Brady could have a similar performance against NO as he did against WFT, where only a few key drops kept him from 400+ yards and 40+ points. Washington was a good measuring stick for the Bucs offense.
In fact, the Bucs offense is outperforming the NO offense in DVOA by a decent margin: Bucs 26%, NO 7.5%. This stat is important because it adjusts for strength of opponent, removing the “Bucs only played creampuffs” argument, and weights recent games more, thus factoring in the Bucs late-season improvement.
So, the defense? DVOA: TB -7.2% to NO -20.3%. The DVOA spread between the offenses favors TB more than the spread between the defenses. Remember, the offense only needs to score more points than the defense gives up.
All this is to say, don’t let the mid-season 38-3 humiliation color your view of this game. It should be close!
We know our defense is going to give it up again, so we need to hope Brady and the offense is locked in for a potential shootout. Good news is our offense looks MUCH improved of late and completely different from the last time we played the Saints.
<p>The thing with Heinicke, he was blitzed and had a lot of very savvy moves in the pocket to escape these blitzes. He even ducked under one guy on that huge run he had. He was under immense pressure. Brees can’t stand there and evade like Taylor did. He looked like White Vick out there. </p>
<p>Pass rush and pass blocking are going to be key factors. The secondary is garbage so there is no helping that. Pass rushers are the only thing that can bail out this awful secondary the Bucs have. And they can’t play zone while blitzing. Brees chews through that with great ease and skill. </p>
<p>This offense is firing on a completely different level right now. If it stays cohesive and continues to stay the course, this will be a tough fought game for both.
This reply was modified 3 months ago by Boid Fink.
Davis usually gives Thomas fits. Just PLAY HIM AT THE LINE!! We’re very poorly equipped for zone.. White and Winfield might be our best chance for pass rush. Maybe LVD too. The weak link on their line right now is Ruiz. Their Tackles are legit. Maybe move JPP and Barrett inside, or bring stunts. Brees has some wiggle, but not like Heinicke. We need to hit him as much as possible, because you know their going to try to hit Brady.
Like the post very interesting but I think when you play a division rival especially for the 3rd time in the same season numbers go out the door… these two teams know each other very well for the most part and play at each other’s weakness…
Whichever team is better prepared for this slugfest will win… it’ll come down to coaching and I think BA heard all the chatter on how he’s got out coached and embarrassed week 9 by the Aints so I think this will be a different outcome…