SINK OR SWIM: Saints at Buccaneers Game Day Prediction

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Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Obum Gwacham (58) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the New Orleans Saints later today in Tampa, Florida, the analogies could go on and on.  “Do or Die”. “Win or Stay Home”. “Sink or Swim”. There are no more tomorrows.

This afternoon’s game between thee Saints and the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers means every bit of all of them.

The Saints (5-7) have lost 3 of their last 4 games; with any mid-season momentum that they may have had now long gone, culminating in last week’s lackluster defeat to Detroit.

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They sit on the cusp of playoff elimination, and a loss to Tampa Bay today finishes any slim chance that New Orleans has to avoid missing the postseason for the third year in a row.

The Buccaneers (7-5) are tied for the NFC South lead; winners of 4 straight games after a 1-3 start to their season.  The last four contests between the two teams have all been within one score, with the Saints winning three times.

Tampa Bay has not defeated New Orleans at Raymond James Stadium, site of this afternoons contest, since 2011. New Orleans does hold a 30-18 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams; but every Saints historian knows what happened during the first meeting ever between these two franchises.

A 33-14 Buccaneers victory in 1977 at the New Orleans Superdome was Tampa Bay’s first franchise victory — as in, EVER in their entire team history — after losing 26 consecutive times (yes: 0-26) to begin their existence.

Dec 11, 1977; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning (8) is sacked in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Louisiana Superdome. It was the Buccaneers first win in franchise history. Mandatory Credit:

However, history means very little to either of these teams today.

Tampa Bay is attempting to strengthen their hold on a playoff berth, while New Orleans is desperately trying to claw their way back into contention.

Let’s have a glance at at how these two teams breakdown both offensively and defensively, along with a prediction at the end which may have you feeling…..well, you’ll see for yourself.

And we begin first with this….