If the New Orleans Saints win on Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they win their first NFC South title in the last six years. That is something many thought would not happen after the Saints started the season with two straight losses.
Drew Brees the Saints veteran quarterback said that several people had only interest related to how bad the team’s start was since the same thing has happened the previous two seasons. He was referring to that because of the team’s opening two losses to Minnesota and New England.
Brees did go on to say that both the Vikings and the Patriots were strong teams and despite the first two games ending in losses, the team never lost faith or began having thoughts of déjà vu.
Brees added that players kept listening to their respective coaches, and stuck to each of their game plans on both offense and defense.
Currently 11-4, the Saints rode an eight-game winning streak to turn their season around and are close to claiming their first division title in the last six years.
Tampa Bay Failed to Fulfill Expectations
Tampa Bay is 4-11 entering the last game of the season and sits in the NFC South basement after beginning the season with high expectations following a successful 9-7 season late year.
The future of their head coach Dirk Koetter is up in the air. Speculation is swirling around the team’s headquarters as to whether he is going to be fired or kept for another season.
George Johnson Acquisition Paying Dividends
George Johnson began his NFL career with Tampa Bay before leaving after five seasons to play for Detroit. This season the Lions released the defensive tackles and he was back home in Tampa Bay when the Saints contacted him to play.
He has now played two games, has two plus quarterback sacks and is shoring up a line that was hurt by the injury to rookie defensive end Trey Hendrickson.
Bad Blood between Saints and Bucs
This is the first game the two teams have played head to head since Mike Evans, the star wide receiver blindsided Saints rookie corner Marhson Lattimore.
Evans was given a personal foul penalty and fined by the NFL the following day. Expect a bit extra pushing and shoving this week, these two teams do not like one another.
Lattimore has intercepted five passes this season and was named to the Pro Bowl team. His has also defended 17 passes, forced a fumble and made one fumble recovery.
Brees is expected to set an NFL record for a single season in completion percentage. After 15 games, his current completion percentage is 71.9%. The record is 71.7% held by Sam Bradford of the Minnesota Vikings, which is set last season.
He held the record at 71.6% that he set in 2009 until Bradford broke it last season. If Brees is not enough to scare opposing defenses, the tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara should. The Saints amazing backfield duo has scored 24 touchdowns between them, equally distributed at 12 apiece.
Each is closing in on 1,500 yards from scrimmage for the season, with Ingram at 1,486 and Kamara at 1,426. Ingram has 1,089 yards rushing with all 12 of his touchdowns on the ground.
Are the Saints going to win the NFC South? Can Brees break the single season completion percentage record?