TAMPA BAY (7-9) at NEW ORLEANS (13-4)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE – Saints by 4 1/2
SERIES RECORD – Saints lead 35-21
LAST MEETING – Saints beat Buccaneers 34-17 on Nov. 17, 2019 at Tampa
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (3), RUSH (24), PASS (1).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (15), RUSH (1), PASS (30).
SAINTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (9), RUSH (16), PASS (7).
SAINTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (11), RUSH (4), PASS (20).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — The first time in NFL history both starting QBs are 40 years old or older. Bucs’ Tom Brady is 43 and Saints’ Drew Brees 41. … Also features top two QBs all-time in yards and TDs passing. Brees leads both categories with 77,416 yards and 547 TDs, followed by Brady with 74,571 yards, 541 TDs. … First game since 1998 (Dan Marino and John Elway) featuring top two career yards passing leaders. … First game since at least 1950 featuring NFL’s top two career TD pass leaders. … Brady signed a two-year, fully guaranteed $50 million contract with the Bucs in free agency, ending 20-season run with New England that included nine Super Bowl appearances and six championships. … Brady’s coming off arguably one of his worst non-injury years with 4,057 yards and 24 TDs passing, and eight INTs. Hardly bad numbers, though. … In five career starts vs. Saints, Brady has thrown for 286.6 yards per game, 11 total TDs and three INTs. … WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both made Pro Bowl last season, when the Buccaneers led the NFL in passing offense. Evans, who is battling a hamstring injury, had 1,157 yards receiving, joining Hall of Famer Randy Moss as only players in NFL history to begin career with six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. … Godwin was third in the NFL with 1,333 yards receiving. … Trade acquisition TE Rob Gronkowski returns after sitting out 2019 in retirement and, along with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate gives Brady three proven TEs this season. … Gronkowski had 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in nine seasons with Patriots. … Two rookies won starting a job in Tampa Bay’s season-opening lineup: first-round OT Tristan Wirfs and second-round S Antoine Winfield Jr., whose dad played in NFL and had INT vs. Brady early in QB’s career. … Bucs kept core of improved defense together, placing franchise tag on NFL sacks leader Shaquil Barrett and re-signing OLB Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Ndamukong Suh. Barrett had 19½ sacks in 2019, his first season with Tampa Bay. … Saints have won past three meetings. … Brees had 74.3 completion percentage in 2019, second highest in single-season mark in NFL history behind only his own 74.4% in 2018. … Brees passed for 2,979 yards with 27 TDs vs. career-low four INTs for career-high 116.3 rating last season. … All-Pro WR Michael Thomas led Saints last season with NFL single-season record 149 catches for 1,725 yards, nine TDs. … Saints added WR Emmanuel Sanders in free agency after Sanders had 36 catches for 502 yards and three TDs with San Francisco last season. … Saints KR-PR Deonte Harris was All-Pro last season as rookie out of Division II Assumption and is expected to have more of a role in offense. … RB Alvin Kamara had 1,330 scrimmage yards (797 rushing, 533 receiving) and six total TDs in 2019. … Kamara and Falcons WR Julio Jones are only players with 1,300-plus scrimmage yards in each of past three seasons. … Kamara is among four RBs in NFL history with three seasons in which he made 80 or more catches. … DE Cameron Jordan led Saints with career-high 15 1/2 sacks in 2019. … All-Pro LB Demario Davis led Saints with 111 tackles. … S Malcolm Jenkins enters first game of second stint with Saints, who drafted him in first round in 2009. … Jenkins had 80 tackles, eight passes defensed and four forced fumbles in 2019 with Philadelphia, where he spent past six seasons. … Fantasy tip: With Sanders aboard, look for Thomas to get help in receiving game to boost his numbers.
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