Two of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks will face off in a monumental divisional contest, with the stakes already high. Leading both franchises, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, signed by the Buccaneers in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, are ranked first and second respectively all-time in completions, passing yardage and touchdown passes
How To Watch
- When: Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome — New Orleans, Louisiana
- TV: FOX
- Online streaming: Watch Here
The New Orleans Saints won both of their matches against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season (31-24 and 34-17) and are aiming for the same result. New Orleans and Tampa Bay are opening their 2020 seasons against one another at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints are coming off of a 13-3 season with hopes of advancing further than the first round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated by the Minnesota Vikings 26-20. On the other hand, Tampa Bay missed the playoffs altogether last season and is looking forward to a clean start.
A pair of last-season offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: New Orleans was second best in passing touchdowns, finishing the 2019 season with 36. Tampa Bay displayed some offensive firepower of their own as they ranked first in the league in passing yards per game, closing the season with 320.4 on average.
The Saints have the odds in their favor, so they’ll need to guard against complacency. These early season matchups can go either way as both teams get back into playing shape.
It’s obviously been a different training camp with the amount of time that we’ve practiced against one another,” he said, “but they have a great group of core leaders, a great group of veteran players that play with great dependability and consistency. And they have a lot of young players that really want to make a name for themselves.
“So I’ve really liked the way that we’ve performed the last six weeks as a team, and now we get a chance to come together as an entire team — offense, defense and special teams — and see what we can make of this season.”
Expectations are through the roof in Tampa, which has not been in the playoffs since 2007, the second-longest current drought in the NFL behind Cleveland. Brady has been in the postseason every year except three in his career — 2000 as a rookie and non-starter; 2002; and 2008 when he injured his knee in Week 1.
So the goals always are higher for Brady — like a certain game played in early February each year. Still, he knows how unusual this season has been and will continue to be.
“Sports challenge you in many different ways,” he said. “It’s the beginning of the season and we haven’t had the live reps that we typically would have had at this point, so all of us are trying to establish a role — and we’ve got to do it at a very high level. Certainly to go against the Saints in Week 1 is a big challenge, but we’ll be ready for the challenge.”