The New Orleans Saints had a magical season in 2009 that ended in Miami last January when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. It seems many have forgotten that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers handed the Saints a loss late last season in the Superdome that could have clinched home field advantage for New Orleans. The Bucs have won the last 5 of 7 regular season games since that game including 4 in a row on the road. That game against the Saints seemed to have a positive impact on a team that was spinning out of control at the time.
This season has been a pleasant surprise for Bucs fans and things should get very interesting when the Saints come marching into Raymond James on Sunday afternoon. This game will be the first real test for the Bucs this season and a rematch of two teams that seemed headed in opposite directions last December. The two teams seem to be headed in opposite directions again for this matchup but it is the Bucs that appear to be rolling and the Saints that are struggling to win games. In fact, the Bucs are playing very well since head coach Raheem Morris took over the defense last December. Coach Morris was a defensive coach for the Bucs before being promoted to head coach in January 2009. He seems to be able to motivate a defense that has the desire to regain the recognition from the glory days.
Another reason for the team’s success is the play of Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. Freeman has matured as a starting quarterback this season and he led his team to an impressive comeback win against the Cincinnati Bengals last week. His performance earned him Offensive player of the week honors which shows the NFL is taking notice of this young quarterback. Sunday’s matchup against the Saints should be a good test for Freeman to see how he performs against the Champs. If the Bucs win, they will be 4-1 and the Saints will drop to 3-3. Who would have predicted that at the beginning of the season? The only person that predicted the Bucs would have a winning season was head coach Raheem Morris who predicted the Bucs would win 10 games this season. Bucs fans everywhere are hoping that this prediction becomes reality. If it does, this season should be a wild ride that will hopefully end with a playoff berth in January.