Bucs’ Arians on beating Saints: ‘It was not a shock to us that we won – we went there expecting to win’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into New Orleans with a lot working against them. First, they were swept by the Saints this season and were outscored 72-26 in those games. Next, they had lost five straight to New Orleans, and finally, the Saints were 7-2 at home, including the playoffs this season.

However, the playoffs are a different animal, and we saw a different Buccaneers team out there against the Saints. The Buccaneers, who committed six turnovers against the Saints in 2020, protected the ball and ended the game with no turnovers, and they forced four Saints’ turnovers, which led to 21 points. They were able to run the ball effectively and finished the game with 127 yards on the ground, which was more than they had in two games against New Orleans.

Based on what happened in the regular season, some might have been surprised by Sunday’s outcome. According to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, he was not surprised and expected the Buccaneers to beat the Saints in the Divisional Round.

“It boosts the confidence for sure, but we went there expecting to win,” Arians said on Monday. “It was not a shock to us that we won – we went there expecting to win. We’re such a different team than when we played back in November. Same thing – Green Bay’s a different team than we played back then, so those games don’t really matter anymore.”

Buccaneers DT Ndamukong Suh was happy that the team got another shot at the Saints this season.

“I think it’s definitely having the mindset of understanding that you kind of control your own destiny from a standpoint of how we got into the playoffs and how we finished off into the playoffs being the fifth seed and controlling our mindset in that aspect,” Suh said. “Then, knowing we needed to get on the road and take care of business against Washington and then see where the chips fell. That had us going back to New Orleans, which I was happy about from a standpoint [that] as a team, we needed to go out, challenge and beat [the Saints], which we were fortunate enough to do in a good fashion from the defensive side of the ball [by] getting so many turnovers. 

“My intent is all about the keys for us continuing to play at a high level. I think for a young guy like [Devin White] to recognize that and see that as an important piece and knowing that we need to stay focused on that as well as executing, we should be in a good place going into this Packers game.”

The Buccaneers blew out the Packers 38-10 in Week 6. However, that game was in the regular season and played in Tampa Bay. The NFC Championship Game will be in Green Bay. Both of these teams are different now, and we’ll find out how different come Sunday.

Buccaneers re-sign Ndamukong Suh

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, the team announced today.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a one-year deal worth $8 million.

Last season, his first with Tampa Bay, the 33-year-old Suh recorded 41 tackles (seven for loss), 14 quarterback hits, four fumble recoveries, four passes defensed, 2.5 sacks and two defensive touchdowns. He started all 16 games for Tampa Bay, anchoring the NFL’s top run defense (73.8 yards allowed per game), while also ranking third on the team with 14 quarterback hits. His active streak of 131 consecutive starts is the longest among NFL defensive linemen and the third-longest among all players.

Suh’s two fumble return touchdowns last season tied for the most ever in a single season since the 1970 merger. Also, his four opponent fumble recoveries tied for second in the NFL, while his six recoveries dating back to the start of 2018 are tied for the league lead.

Through his first ten seasons in the NFL, Suh has played in and started 158 games, recording 519 tackles (114 for loss), 180 quarterback hits, 58.5 sacks, 36 passes defensed, eight fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, three defensive touchdowns, and one interception. Since entering the league as the No. 2 overall pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2010 NFL Draft, Suh has earned five Pro Bowl selections and five Associated Press All-Pro honors (three first-team, two-second team).

Since his rookie season in 2010, Suh’s 114 tackles for loss are the seventh-most in the NFL, and his 180 quarterback hits also rank seventh. He stands first among defensive tackles in passes defensed (36), second in tackles (519), second in tackles for loss (114) and fourth in sacks (58.5). Suh’s three career fumble recovery touchdowns are tied for the ninth-most in NFL history.

Willie McGinest on Rams: ‘They have a monster squad’

The Los Angeles have done a lot in this offseason to strengthen their team. They added two big-time corners in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, and this week, they agreed to terms with five-time Pro Bowl DT Ndamukong Suh.

With all these additions, many expect the Rams defense to be one of the best in football, including the NFL Network’s Willie McGinest:

“They’re one of the best. I would say the addition of Suh, Talib and Peters on the outside,” McGinest told TMZ Sports.  “They were already solid, already a well- coached team. When you add pieces like that, man, it makes them even more dominant than what they were.”

The Rams already have Aaron Donald, who might be the best defensive tackle in football. Now, you add Suh to the mix, and according to McGinest, that’s going to be tough for offenses to handle:

“It’s hard to game plan as far as protection, who you going to slide to; you can’t double-team one guy anymore, and Wade Phillips does a great job of scheming; using players and putting them in the right position, so they got a monster squad, man. It’s going to be exciting to see how this comes together.” McGinest said.

McGinest believes Donald and Suh together could be one of the best interior lineman combinations in the history of the game:

“It’s a scary combination. I can’t go through history, but that’s one of the best as far as interior defensive linemen playing together,” McGinest said. “That’s definitely one of the most feared twosome you’re going to have playing (with) one another, so teams are going to have to figure it out. Offensive coordinators are going to be up at night trying to figure that out.”

 

While Suh, Peters, and Talib come with some baggage, McGinest expects these players to be fine in Los Angeles:

“I love Talib, and I love Suh. They’ll be alright. Sean McVay runs a tight ship. He lets players be opinionated, be themselves, but he also runs a tight ship with structure,  and discipline, and they’re going to respect him,” McGinest said. “They’re going to love playing for him. And it’s not about one or two guys. They understand it’s about the team, and players go through things at times. I think they’re going to be in a good situation. They’re in California; they’re on a very good team. They gotta chance to go deep into the playoffs. So, they want to prove something. They’re somewhere new. Anytime you go to a new home, you want to prove that you belong, and you want to do your part, so I don’t see it being a distraction.”

Last season, the Rams were able to win 11 games, which was good enough to win the NFC West and host a Wild Card playoff game, but their season ended in that round as they lost to the Falcons.

Now, with all that the Rams have, anything short of a deep playoff run, would be a disappointment.

 

Rams, Suh agree on one-year deal

Los Angeles Rams and Ndamukong Suh agreed to a one-year deal today. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a one-year deal worth $14 million.

The Rams will team Suh with stud DT Aaron Donald.  According to Rapoport, Suh did consider the Titans and Saints, but ultimately, he decided to join the Rams.

The 31-year-old Suh was released by the Dolphins this offseason after three seasons in Miami.