NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Get ready, New Orleans.
You’re going to hear a lot this week about the Saints’ matchup with the Bucs in the NFC playoffs.
It’s the marquee game of the weekend and it features two of the league’s all-time greats in Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
And rest assured, you’re going to hear the cliché about how hard it is to beat a team three times in a season, how the Bucs have the mental edge on the Saints after being swept by them twice in the regular season.
And I’m hear to tell you: Don’t buy it. Not a single word.
It’s actually a myth, your classic false narrative.
Truth is, it’s not hard to beat a team three times at all. In fact, history says it’s quite easy.
In the 21 previous times it’s happened in the league since 1970, the team that won the two regular season games ALSO went on to win the playoff game 14 times.
Now, the Bucs insist they are a different team than the one the Saints blitzed, 38-3, in Week 9. And that, indeed, might be true.
They’ve won six of eight games since then, including all four road contests. Antonio Brown has developed into a dynamic third weapon in their receiving corps. And stalwart left guard Ali Marpet is back in the lineup after missing the Week 9 game in Tampa.
But none of that changes this inconvenient truth: The Saints are the better team. They’re more talented on both sides of the ball and much better coached. They’ll have a plan for the Bucs, just as they did in Week 1 and Week 9. And then it will come down to simple execution and players making plays.
It won’t be as easy as the last time they met, but in the end the better team will prevail. And the better team is most definitely the Saints.
So break out the brooms, New Orleans. It’s time to debunk that myth and get ready for a three-peat.
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