The Buccaneers are 5-6 heading into Week 13 following a loss to the Cleveland Browns last week. Tampa Bay is at home this week to play the Saints on Monday.
Tampa Bay is currently a 3.5-point favorite via Draft Kings Sportsbook. Our staff weighs in with their predictions and Week 13 picks below.
Gil Arcia: One step forward, two steps back
The Saints defense always seems to play a Tom Brady-led Buccaneers offense really good. Despite their wins this season, Tampa Bay truly hasn’t been as dominating offensively as they once were under Brady. Even in New Orleans and all the Jameis Winston turnovers, you can say the Bucs had no business winning that game. With that said, after their win in Munich against a very good Seahawks team and taking what looked to be a step forward offensively, they took one step back last week in Cleveland and will take another step back this week when the Saints defense forces the Bucs into three turnovers and five sacks under the lights at Raymond James Stadium.
James Yarcho: Round Two. Fight!
If Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore don’t participate in some sort of celebrity boxing match for charity once their careers are over, it’s a missed opportunity. Until then, we have just to deal with the battles on the field. Evans and quarterback Tom Brady seemed disconnected the last few weeks, but made it a point to work those things out in practice. The Bucs will need a spark from somewhere and they’ll find it in the form of Evans. He wins round two, going for over 70 yards and having a touchdown catch for the first time since week four.
Mike Kiwak: Monday Night Mess
The Buccaneers do not fair well against the Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Since their last home win against New Orleans five years ago, the Saints have won by an average of 18.75 points per game. Tampa scored 3 total points in the last two matchups. While the Saints are bad this year, the Bucs aren’t exactly lighting anyone up and seem a thread’s length away from completely imploding…and I think that’s exactly what will happen. After having a ton of turnover luck in their Week 2 win, the Bucs experience a reversal of fortunes and cough the ball up three times en route to a back-breaking loss.
Will Walsh: Puppy…
I don’t want to come off as piling on, but politely, I don’t know how Tampa wins this game. Everything the Bucs did last week, against a bad Cleveland team, looked like a struggle. The offense is and has been a flip flop stuck in the mud all season. The Saints defense stifled the Bucs in their first matchup and that was when Tristan Wirfs, Leonard Fournette, and Russell Gage were completely healthy. Injuries have played a big role in the Buccaneers’ season and unfortunately for Tampa, this time around the Bucs won’t have ‘Famous James’ handling them the ball throughout the game. Saints win, Chris Olave breaks Tampa Bay’s back with two or three colossal plays.
Chris Weingarten: Last ditch effort
Both of these teams have underperformed this season due to similar reasons. Poor coaching, numerous injuries, and flat-out bad play by key players, have led each team to this point. While I don’t see much hope left for the Buccaneers this season, I think that they will show up on Monday night against the Saints. Tristan Wirfs being sidelined is hugely significant and will hamper an already struggling offense. But I see the defense making enough plays and causing a few turnovers to keep the Saints at bay. Tom Brady will lead another last-minute drive resulting in a Ryan Succop field goal at the buzzer for a 13-10 win.
James Hill: Buc’s offense continues to be really really bad
The Bucs offense has been a mess this year. Players have not been utilized in the correct way, execution is off, play calling and play sequencing has been spotty at best, and many more issues have been shown with Byron Leftwich, his coaching staff, and the Bucs offense as a whole. The Saints are always a tough matchup for the Bucs and while they beat them earlier in the season, I expect the Bucs offense to struggle yet again in this matchup. Saints head coach Dennis Allen always seems to out coach Byron Leftwich and I believe that continues and the Buccaneers will not score a single touchdown in this matchup and it will turn into a kickers and defensive duel.
Week 13 staff picks