The New Orleans Saints seemed to be the kryptonite for Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year.
At 0-2 on the season against the Saints, including a devastating 38-3 loss in Week 9, the Bucs certainly have a lot to think about as they head into next weekend’s playoff matchup.
Clearly, Arians has to change something with his play style in order to top New Orleans. In his second year with the team, Arians has never defeated the Saints. But, despite his losing streak, the second-year Tampa Bay coach says the opposition shouldn’t have a psychological advantage on Sunday night.
“I don’t think there’s any more swag than our offense has — I guarantee that,” Arians told reporters on Monday. You can’t get caught up in the finger pointing and the trash talking. You’ve got to play football. The Bears’ young receiver got caught up in it and got thrown out of the game. It’s going to happen, that’s who they are. You just have to deal with it and win your one-on-one matchups. They have a ton of swagger and they should.”
Arians also emphasized his key to victory: winning 0ne-on-one battles on every phase of the field — especially amongst the players who know each other.
“The familiarity with the players — Marshon Lattimore knows Mike Evans — who’s going to win that battle?” Arians said. “Same thing Tristan Wirfs and Cam Jordan — it comes down to one-on-one battles of guys who know each other. Who’s going to make those game-changing plays in this game?”
Bruce Arians says his team is more than ready for the challenge ahead.
“I think they’re really, really looking forward to it,” Arians said. “Our guys are ready to play anybody, anywhere night — that’s for sure. We all kind of had a feeling we knew where we were going, so it was just get yourselves rested up. This extra day is going to help, so get rested up because you know it’s going to be a physical, physical battle.”
After their 31-23 victory over Washington last week, the Buccaneers will face New Orleans with an NFC title game berth on the line this Sunday.