The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to win their first NFC South title since 2007 and at the same time snap the New Orleans Saints' four-year grip on that crown. In Week 15, on the evening of Sunday, December 19, the Buccaneers will have a chance to take that prize directly from their division rivals.
The Buccaneers will play their fifth nationally-televised prime-time game of 2021 next Sunday when they take on the Saints on NBC in Week 15. After beating the Buffalo Bills 33-27 in overtime in Week 13, the Bucs put themselves on the verge of that long-awaited division title, with both Atlanta and Carolina eliminated and only their own stumbling block in the NFC South still standing in the way. Despite the Buccaneers winning Super Bowl LV last year and beating New Orleans in the playoffs, the Saints have won six straight regular-season games in the series.
New Orleans remains mathematically alive in the division race, now four games back with four weeks to play. The Saints beat the New York Jets in Week 14, 30-9, to stave off elimination and also hold a Week Eight win over the Buccaneers in their back pocket. The memory of last year's visit by the Saints to Raymond James Stadium – a shocking 38-3 win for the visitors on Sunday Night Football – is also still fresh in the Buccaneers' minds.
The last time the Buccaneers and Saints squared off, in the Superdome two months ago, New Orleans lost starting quarterback Jameis Winston to an ACL tear but still rolled to a 36-27 lead behind backup Trevor Siemian. Since then, Taysom Hill has taken over as the Saints' starting quarterback and on Sunday he threw for 175 yards and also ran 11 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, the New Orleans offense welcomed back running back Alvin Kamara, who celebrated his return to action after missing four games by putting up 145 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
The Buccaneers will be looking to avenge that 2020 loss on Sunday Night Football and stay perfect in prime time in 2021 after winning their first four games in the national spotlight. Tampa Bay is also 6-0 at home and is scoring 37.5 points per game at Raymond James Stadium this season. After recording his 700th career touchdown pass – a walkoff 58-yarder to Breshad Perriman against the Bills – and breaking the NFL's all-time completions record formerly owned by Saints star Drew Brees, Brady will be looking for his first regular-season win against the Saints in a Bucs uniform. That minor milestone would lead to a bigger one for the Bucs: That first division title in 14 years and a continued shot at the NFC's first-overall seed.