BY ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
Last week it was the Dallas Cowboys’ turn to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This time, the New Orleans Saints get their shot.
The Saints host the future Hall of Fame quarterback at the Superdome on Sunday (noon, Fox), but unlike the Cowboys, who are 0-2 against the Buccaneers the past two seasons, New Orleans is one of the rare organizations that has seemed to crack the TB12 code.
Although Brady has won a Super Bowl and both NFC South titles since joining Tampa Bay in 2020, he’s 0-4 in the regular season against the Saints (although he’s 1-0 in the postseason). Tampa Bay has been held without a touchdown in two of the four regular-season contests.
“We play extremely hard against these guys, and we know that we’ve got a huge challenge every time we go up against them,” New Orleans head coach Dennis Allen told the Saints’ website. “They’re extremely talented offensively, the best quarterback to ever play the game. It’s certainly a challenge. Our guys get excited about going up against these guys, but every opportunity is a different deal.”
In the regular season as a member of the Buccaneers, Brady has completed 99 of 162 passes for 1,037 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions against the Saints. Two of the interceptions have been Pick-6s.
“They don’t make a lot of mistakes, they make you earn everything,” Brady told the Buccaneers media. “Every third down’s important, every kicking situation’s important, every third down in the low red area is important, turnovers are important. It’s a lot of things that lead to winning and losing and obviously we haven’t done a good job of that in the regular season. We’re going to have to play a lot better if we expect to win.”
Meanwhile, after picking up the pieces from a Week 1 disaster, the Cowboys host the reigning Super Bowl runner-up.
With quarterback Dak Prescott on the shelf after surgery on his throwing hand, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals will enter AT&T Stadium (3:25 p.m., CBS) as a touchdown favorite, despite a home loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1.
“When you have teammates like we do – we have a heck of a defense and a ton of playmakers, you tell yourself you’re playing with special players,” quarterback Cooper Rush, who is set to make his second career start, said. “You have to trust them and do your job. If you do your job, everything should be alright.”
Rush threw for 325 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his only start – a 20-16 victory at Minnesota in Week 8 last season.
The Cowboys were the only NFC East team to lose on opening weekend.
Tom Brady is winless in four regular-season games against the Saints since joining Tampa Bay in 2020.
36-27 at New Orleans
9-0 at Tampa Bay
38-3 at Tampa Bay
34-23 at New Orleans
Contact Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by MICHAEL NANCE