Jameis Winston's NFL debut didn't go quite as planned for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1), as he was outplayed mightily by Marcus Mariota. Winston dealt with the bumps and bruises, but looks to show that he spent this week of practice fixing all that went wrong. As for the New Orleans Saints (0-1), they nearly grabbed an impressive road victory against the Arizona Cardinals, but couldn't get the job done. Drew Brees looks to show his young counterpart how it's done, but can the Saints grab their first win of 2015 in their home opener?
Here are three keys to the game for both the Buccaneers and the Saints.
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1. Don't put it all on Jameis Winston
The 42-14 opening loss to the Tennessee Titans was simply brutal for the Buccaneers. Fortunately, it's on to Week 2, but there are multiple things that need to be changed. The biggest thing, is that Tampa Bay simply must avoid putting too much on Winston in his second start. The rookie quarterback threw the ball 33 times in their opening loss, something that can't happen if Tampa wants to leave New Orleans with a victory. Use the run game, including the revived Doug Martin, to make life easier on Winston.
2. Slow down Drew Brees
After watching Mariota throw four touchdowns in three quarters of action, it's safe to say that the pass defense in Tampa Bay must improve. Mariota threw only three incomplete passes and shredded Tampa's secondary. Now, the Buccaneers draw a veteran quarterback in Brees, who could light up the scoreboard as well if given the same openings Mariota was given. The Buccaneers need to throw some new looks and change up what they're doing, because Brees may be 36, but he's still one of the best in the business.
3. Cut back on the penalties and turnovers
Tampa Bay turned the ball over twice early in its loss to the Titans, which wound up putting them behind the eight ball. The Buccaneers, and Winston specifically, can't turn the ball over and give Brees great field position. To top it off, the penalties have to be fixed for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers had the most penalties in the league with 12 in Week 1, which resulted in 97 penalty yards. You won't win many games when you're making mistakes like that.
1. Get the run game rolling
In Week 1, the Saints totaled 20 rushes between five players for 54 yards. Their inability to run the ball against the Cardinals was tough to watch, but they can't let it happen again. New Orleans has a great running back in Mark Ingram, and should also have C.J. Spiller back from injury against the Buccaneers. If the Saints can't get a run game going, they're going to have a tough 2015 season.
2. Keep Brandin Cooks involved
Cooks had four catches for 49 yards against the talented Cardinals defense. It wasn't a bad outing for the second-year receiver, but big things are expected from him. Brees looked his way often, targeting Cooks eight times in Week 1, so don't be surprised to see those catches increase by 2-3 against the Buccaneers. The more Cooks is involved, the better it is for the offense, no questions asked.
3. Attack Jameis Winston
The Saints had zero sacks in their opener, which absolutely must change. Last week against Winston and the Buccaneers, Tennessee tallied four sacks, which obviously impacted Winston in a big way. The Saints must attack Winston and send multiple different looks his way. The best way to attack a rookie quarterback is to get in his face, and the Saints had better hope they find a pass rush on Sunday.