It’s shaping up to be a game for the ages – or the aged.
While the game won’t actually be on the History Channel (6:40 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX), it’s apt to go down in the history books as a matchup between two Hall of Fame QBs in the 43-year-old Brady and 42-year-old Brees. It could also be your chance to win $250,000 and a new Ford F150 truck by answering six questions in FOX Bet’s NFL Super 6 contest.
Here’s a look at this week’s questions and some advice to help you make your selections.
1. How many completions will Tom Brady and Drew Brees combine for?The choices: 0-38, 39-42, 43-46, 47-50, 51-55, 56-plus
This will be a pass-heavy affair, as neither team will be able to penetrate the opposing run defense. Tampa is first in the NFL against the run; New Orleans is second. The total has gone up a full three points to 52, so the market is telling you that there will be points in the third meeting between these two teams. I foolishly thought last week that the familiarity between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks and two unders in their previous meetings would lead to a third. There was a lot of weirdness — a pick-six, a busted defensive assignment — that led to the over.
The X-factor here is Taysom Hill. How many snaps will he get? Will he throw a pass? He has thrown only two since Brees returned from injury, but Sean Payton surprised everyone last season, when Hill uncorked a 50-yard pass vs. the Minnesota Vikings. What does he have up his sleeve in this one? THE PICK: 51-55 completions
2. Which team will have the most receptions and by how many?The choices: 0-1, 2, 3, 4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-13, 14-plus
Brees is not as pass-happy as Brady. He has attempted more than 40 passes only twice this season — both in overtime games. But Brees is one of the most accurate QBs in NFL history, and he completed 70.5 percent of his passes this season. He hit 81 percent of his passes in the previous meeting with Tampa but only 60 percent in the first meeting. Brady has attempted 40-plus passes in three of his past four games. The one he didn’t? The Bucs were up on the Detroit Lions 40-0 in the third quarter. If you go back further, they were blasted in time of possession by the Vikings, and he attempted only 23 passes; before that, two additional over-40 in losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Rams. There’s definitely an edge to the Bucs here. THE PICK: Buccaneers by 4 receptions
3. Which team will have the most rushing yards and by how many?The choices: 0-5, 6-14, 14-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59, 60-79, 80-104, 105-plus
Neither rushing attack will have room to operate.
Alvin Kamara led the NFL in TDs this season with 21, but he was a nonfactor on the ground vs. Tampa in two meetings, rushing 21 times for 56 yards. As bad as that sounds, the Bucs might get nothing from Ronald Jones (injured, unclear if he’ll play until Sunday), and the plodding Leonard Fournette, who seems to be effective only against poor run defenses such as the Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. THE PICK: Saints by 14-24 rushing yards
4. Which team will have the most receiving yards and by how many?The choices: 0-9, 10-24, 25-39, 40-54, 55-74, 75-94, 95-114, 115-144, 145-plus
Given the Jones injury and Brady’s hot month, this lines up as a double-revenge effort from the GOAT. Brady has been sacked six times and has thrown five interceptions in two meetings vs. the Saints. How much should we discredit the first game of the season, on the road, with new teammates and a new playbook? The second meeting was extremely troubling, and Marshon Lattimore once again dominated Mike Evans. But the edge here goes to the Bucs because they finally have a healthy Chris Godwin, who was injured in the season opener and returning from a finger injury in the second meeting. His speed should open things up underneath for Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. THE PICK: Buccaneers by 25-39 receiving yards
5. Which team will have the most punt return yards and by how many?The choices: 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-plus
The Saints have the edge here, with Deonte Harris (12.2 yards per return) and Marquez Callaway (11.1 yards per return) both having solid seasons. Tampa has gotten next to nothing on punt returns, with Jaydon Mickens and Kenjon Barner both under 7 yards per return. Overall, there is a big special-teams advantage for the Saints, who are fifth in special teams, according to Football Outsiders, while Tampa ranks near the bottom of the league at 26. Of note: The Bucs gave up a 74-yard punt return TD to the Lions in Week 16. THE PICK: Saints by 26-30 yards
6: Choose a team to win and by how many points.The choices: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-13, 14-17, 18-21, 22-25, 26-plus
I lean to the Bucs here getting the points, but I like New Orleans to pick up a victory in the showdown of ancient QBs. Tampa opened in some books +5, and money has poured in ever since, taking this all the way down to the key number of 3. There is no home-field advantage for the Saints. Bruce Arians and Sean Payton have teamed up for some high-scoring games; in their seven meetings, the over is 5-2. Trends aren’t predictive, but I found this interesting: Since 1970, teams that go 2-0 against a team are 14-7 in the third meeting. THE PICK: Saints by 1-2 points
You could win $250,000 and a new Ford F150 truck by answering six questions in FOX Bet’s NFL Super 6 contest. Download the app now for free, and make your picks.