After getting humiliated at home last week by the Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints showed us all why they are the class of the NFC in Week 11.
Week 10 was a total disaster for the New Orleans Saints. They couldn’t even score a touchdown at home against their rival in the Atlanta Falcons, a team that was 1-7 coming off its annual bye. New Orleans fell to 7-2 on the year in the most shocking upset of the 2019 NFL season up to that point. They needed to right the wrongs in Week 12 vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Saints did not let us down. They went into Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and gave it to their lackluster NFC South rival, winning convincingly 34-19 over the Buccaneers to improve to 8-2 on the season. So what does beating a bad team like Tampa Bay on the road signify that the Saints are the best team in the NFC? Doesn’t everybody and their brother beat Tampa Bay?
That may be true, but the best teams in football refuse to go on losing streaks. Sure, every team in football loses regular-season games, unless you’re the 1972 Miami Dolphins or the 2007 New England Patriots. What is a separating factor for the Saints is they didn’t let a head-scratching loss to Atlanta get the best of them. They went to work on Sunday in Tampa and got it done.
New Orleans had a nice balance offensively with Drew Brees playing like the future Pro Football Hall of Famer he is and an excellent game out of his running back Alvin Kamara. Brees was able to find wide receiver Michael Thomas all afternoon to key the passing game, while Kamara added the dual-threat playmaking abilities we’ve grown accustomed to out of the backfield.
Defensively, the Saints committed to shutting the Tampa Bay running game down and putting pressure on Buccaneers starting quarterback Jameis Winston. Neutralizing the ground game put more pressure on Winston to make plays. We all know what happens when that’s the case, he’ll take sacks and turn the football over at will. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
In short, the Saints proved their the best team in the NFC because they re-established their identity as a football team and put a beating on a division rival in their place. Other teams in the NFC can do that, but nobody rebounds from hardship quite like Sean Payton’s Saints.