Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was intercepted three times in Sunday night’s loss to the New Orleans Saints. Photo from @Buccaneers (Twitter)
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ odds to win Super Bowl 55 lengthened from +550 to +1000 following Sunday night’s 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints
- Tom Brady was intercepted three times and sacked three times by the Saints while failing to generate a touchdown
- The Buccaneers’ defense has allowed 777 total yards and 61 points in the last two games
Sunday night’s showdown for first place in the NFC South turned into a beatdown for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers were routed 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Saints took control of the game early and never gave Tom Brady a chance to engineer a comeback.
New Orleans (6-2) moved atop the division standings by half-game over Tampa Bay (6-3).
Going into the game, the Buccaneers were the third choice in the Super Bowl odds at +550. Tampa Bay is now tied for the fifth choice at +1000.
Odds to Win Super Bowl 55
|Kansas City Chiefs||+350|
|New Orleans Saints||+750|
|Green Bay Packers||+1000|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1000|
|Los Angeles Rams||+2200|
Odds taken Nov. 9 from FanDuel
Bucs Get Beaten Up
The Saints, who were three-point underdogs, made things tough on Brady as they intercepted him three times and had three sacks. He completed 22 of 38 passes for 209 yards.
Brady also had an incredibly ugly pick.
YOU SHALL NOT PASS 🧙♂️#Saints | 📱: https://t.co/i8R5PLY4WQ pic.twitter.com/C8bxnZQBfZ
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 9, 2020
Tampa Bay’s vaunted defense was shredded as the Saints scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions to take a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter. By that point, New Orleans had a 241-36 advantage in total yards.
The Saints extended their lead to 31-0 by halftime. Only a 48-yard field goal by Ryan Succop with 5:52 remaining kept the Buccaneers from being shut out.
Drew Brees completed 26 of 32 passes for 222 yards and four touchdowns.
2021 Bundesliga Odds Tracker
Saints Pull Off Sweep of Buccaneers
The Saints swept the season series as they also beat the Buccaneers 34-23 at New Orleans in Week 1. Thus, if the teams tie for the division title, the Saints will hold the tiebreaker.
Brady also had problems with the Saints’ defense in that one, throwing two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Janoris Jenkins.
TOM BRADY PICK-SIX’D BY JANORIS JENKINS 🐰
(via @nfl) pic.twitter.com/W11BIVh3l0
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 13, 2020
Brady was 23 of 36 for 239 yards and two touchdowns.
However, Brady had played much better since opening day. In the seven games prior to Sunday, he had thrown 18 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.
Then things fell apart.
Paths to NFC South Title
The Buccaneers have a slightly tougher NFL second half SOS.
Tampa Bay has home games against the Los Angeles Rams (5-3), Kansas City Chiefs (8-1), Minnesota Vikings (3-5) and Atlanta Falcons (3-6). The Buccaneers go on the road to face the Carolina Panthers (3-6), Falcons and Detroit Lions (3-5).
On to the next one.
📰: https://t.co/sypyV0BnRB pic.twitter.com/0oPLvFNAju
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) November 9, 2020
The Saints play at home against the San Francisco 49ers (4-5), Falcons, Chiefs and Vikings. New Orleans plays at the Denver Broncos (3-5), Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) and Panthers.
The Buccaneers face teams with a combined .467 winning percentage. Saints opponents’ have a .442 mark.
Both teams are likely to be favored in all but one game, their matchups against the Chiefs.
Defense Springs Leak
Through Week 7, the Buccaneers were third in the NFL in total defense, allowing 291.3 yards a game. They were also eighth in points allowed with a 20.3 average.
However, that defense has had problems in the last two games. In addition to allowing the Saints to drop 38 points on them, the Buccaneers struggled to beat the lowly New York Giants 25-23 on the road in Week 8.
In those two games, Tampa Bay has allowed averages of 388.5 yards and 30.5 points.
Buccaneers defense tonight…. pic.twitter.com/FadtTpJZgp
— 💯ATLANTA ALL DAY💯 (@BigMoneyATL) November 9, 2020
Yet it might be too soon to become worried about the Buccaneers’ defense. This is a unit, after all, that held the high-powered Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers to 201 total yards and 10 points in a Week 6 victory.
Are Buccaneers Still Contenders?
Unquestionably, Brady and the Buccaneers laid an egg in primetime against the Saints. That has many pundits questioning the legitimacy of Tampa Bay’s hopes of winning the Super Bowl.
Yet it is still realistic to think the Buccaneers could finish the regular season 12-4, though that still might not be enough to prevent the Saints from winning their fourth straight NFC South title.
It is always difficult to bet against Brady, who won six Super Bowls in 20 seasons with the New England Patriots before signing with the Buccaneers this year as a free agent.
Thus, the Buccaneers still present some value at +1000 but it would wise not to go overboard with a wager.
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.