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SNF: Saints vs Buccaneers Game Thread

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Night Football, Week 8. Tonight, in a huge NFC South showdown, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New Orleans Saints with first place in the division on the line.

These two teams met in the season opener, with the Saints coming out on top. The rematch will go a long way in deciding who wins the division crown. If the Saints win tonight they will not only have a one game lead in the loss column on the Buccaneers, they will also have the head to head tie breaker. A loss by the Buccaneers will badly damage their chances at a division crown. A Buccaneers win, on the other hand, will put them up in the division by a game and a half and deny the Saints the head to head tiebreaker.

The 6-2 Buccaneers come into this game red hot. Winners of six of their last seven games, with the only loss coming by one point at the hands of the Chicago Bears, the Buccaneers have been scoring at a prodigious rate. The Buccaneers, led by a resurgent Tom Brady, have put up 108 points in their last three games. Brady, after a slow start to the season with his new team, has been on a roll, with 17 touchdown passes and just one interception in his last six games.

The 5-2 Saints counter with another future Hall of Fame quarterback, Drew Brees. Brees has been his usual efficient self this year, with 13 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. The Saints have been hot, winning their last four games, but it hasn’t been easy. Two of their last four victories have been in overtime, and they haven’t won by more than a touchdown since defeating Brady and the Buccaneers on opening day. Brees and the Saints have missed All Pro receiver Michael Thomas, who has been out since opening day with an ankle injury. Thomas looks to be on track to return to action tonight, which should give the Saints’ offense a major boost against a tough Buccaneers defense ranked 3rd in the NFL.

One of these teams is likely to win the NFC South, a first round bye, and at least one home game in the playoffs, while the other is likely to be a wild card and on the road in the playoffs. This game will go a long way towards deciding which team ends up where.

It’s Brees against Brady, the Saints against the Buccaneers in what should be one of the better games of the year on Sunday Night Football.

Enjoy the game everybody.