The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints met for the first time in 1977. As members of the NFC South, these two teams get at least two meetings a season against each other. Along with Atlanta and Carolina; this division always seems to have competitive races at the end of the season.
History of Buccaneers vs. Saints Rivalry
Their first meeting was a significant game for the Bucs, as they had previously been 0-26 as an expansion team but managed to upset the Saints and earn their first win in franchise history. The Saints have been around 9 years longer than the Bucs, with their first season in 1967.
These two were not in the same division from 1976-2001 before they were placed in the NFC South and became division rivals. The Saints and the Bucs make up half of the NFL teams who are undefeated in the Super Bowl; granted, they’ve both only made it once. This series has favored the Saints before and after they joined the same division.
Head to Head Analysis of Buccaneers vs. Saints
The Black and Gold have a lead in this series with a 33-20 record in their 53 total meetings. Home field advantage has never been a major factor, as there is an almost even split between the home and away team in terms of victories. Since joining the same division in 2002, the Saints have swept their division series against the Bucs 5 times (2002, 2006, 2012, 2013, 2014) and the Bucs have swept the Saints twice (2005, 2007).
One notable sweep was when New Orleans beat Tampa Bay during the same season that the Bucs went on to win their only Super Bowl. Prior to 2002, the Saints had the longest winning streak with 6 in a row in the 1980s, and since 2002 they have topped that by winning 7 in a row as division rivals. The Bucs have never managed to string together more than two wins in a row. Although the Saints have the advantage in this rivalry, their postseason resumes are quite similar.
A Glance at Postseason Success in Buccaneers vs. Saints Rivalry
The postseason success of New Orleans and Tampa Bay are very similar when you take a look at their postseason appearances, division conferences, conference championships, and Super Bowl championships. They each have one Super Bowl win, with the Bucs winning in 2002 and the Saints in 2009. Their only conference championships came in those years to give them their opportunity at the Lombardi Trophy.
The Saints do have one more Division championship with 7 total versus 6 for The Bucs. NOLA also has 2 more playoff appearances for a total of 12, while Tampa Bay has only 10. The Saints have won the NFC South the past two seasons and are looking to expand on that success.
The New Orleans Saints have one of the most dynamic RB/WR duos in the league with the young Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. They also have a young wideout in Tre’Quan Smith who could prove to be a reliable target for Drew Brees and the next QB for the Saints. New Orleans also has a young defensive secondary with the likes of CB Marshon Lattimore and FS Marcus Williams to help continue their recent success. A lot of people are waiting for the Bucs to break out as they have some very talented young players that just haven’t meshed yet.
The biggest disappointment so far would probably be Jameis Winston at quarterback with his on- and off-the-field antics. However, he is surrounded by some skilled playmakers on offense like RB Peyton Barber, RB Ronald Jones, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, and TE OJ Howard.
Tampa Bay also has a young secondary to support their offense with Jordan Whitehead and Justin Evans. Tampa Bay really needs to draft or trade for some skilled defenders and get that offense clicking to truly become a good or even great team in the NFL. It will be interesting to see what the Saints do once Drew Brees decides to retire as he is a huge part of their offense. One can hope that this rivalry continues to evolve with all of the young players that are a part of it.