The day has finally come. It is football season, and the Saints are going to be contenders once again. Last year, we went over the Keys to the Contest for each game, and we are back once again! The season kicks off with a crucial game including two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time going head to head. This is going to be a tight race in the NFC South all year long, so both teams will be looking to get off to a strong start. Here’s what the Saints need to do to boost their chances of starting the season on the right foot. These are the Keys to the Contest.
Strong Defensive Line Play
It is going to be crucial for the Saints’ D-line to show up ready to play. The Bucs have an improved but still sketchy offensive line. First and foremost, they need to make the Bucs offense predictable by stopping the run. Former 4th overall pick and LSU star, Leonard Fournette, will be looking to start strong on his new team. Once the run game is shut down, then we can get after Brady. Ole’ Tom is 43, and nearly immobile. Despite Marcus Davenport being out, Cam Jordan and company should still be able to cause some problems.
Strong Offensive Line Play
The one thing that sticks out to every Saints fan about the way the season ended last year was just how terrible the offensive line played in the Wildcard round. The run game was basically non existent, and Drew Brees was constantly under pressure. That cannot happen today. This is a bit of a tougher ask as first round pick, Cesar Ruiz, will be out. This means that Nick Eason, who played well when called upon last year, will likely step in once again. If the offensive line can do its job, the Saints should win this game. There’s just too much offensive talent for the Bucs to deal with.
Limit Preventable Mistakes
When you have a team as talented as the Saints, most days the only team that is able to beat you is yourself. Call me biased, but the 2020 Saints, on paper, is one of the most talented teams in NFL history. The difference between talented teams who win rings and ones that don’t (Besides Refs. Yes, we’re still mad) is mistakes. The teams that win it all, commit minimal penalties and don’t turn the ball over. It’s really that simple.
So, if the Saints can win in the trenches, and limit preventable mistakes, the black and gold should start the season off 1-0. Hold it.