Saints at Buccaneers: Key Match-Ups to Watch

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Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Andrus Peat (75) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Saints Left Tackle Andrus Peat and Left Guard Senio Kelemete vs. Bucs Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy

The Saints offensive line had probably their worst outing of the season last week against the Lions. Left tackle Andrus Peat and left guard Senio Kelemete in particular caused Drew Brees to be under immediate pressure on almost all of his 44 pass attempts.

This was certainly part of the reason that Brees used his shorter, “check down” options so often, because the receivers did not have the extra time to get open down field for their quarterback.

The Buccaneers front is led by all-pro lineman Gerald McCoy, and although McCoy is also a bit of a question mark to play because of injury, Tampa Bay’s defensive scheme is predicated on getting heavy pressure on the offensive backfield.

Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) sacks New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) as guard Jahri Evans (73) looks on during the second quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans must give their future Hall of Fame QB time to find talented targets, and this likely is going to be the most important match up in determining this game.

With left tackle Terron Armstead only a 50/50 chance at best to be back in the lineup (and that’s probably too optimistic), it will once again fall to Peat and Kelemete to protect Brees’ blindside.

The ability of the line to maintain their blocks may even be further hampered if one of their backfield helpers is used for something else.