The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to face their NFC South rival, the New Orleans Saints, in the Divisional round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs. The game is scheduled for Sunday, January 17 with kickoff at 6:40 p.m. ET. The game will air on FOX. If the Saints win, they will either travel to Lambeau to face the Packers or host the Rams in the NFC Championship game. If the Bucs win, they’ll travel to face the Packers or host the Rams in the NFC Championship.
How the Bucs and Saints got here
In their first season with Tom Brady under center, Bruce Arians and the Bucs finish at 11-5 with their first playoff berth since 2007. After finishing second in the NFC South, they snagged a Wild Card spot, while their divisional rival rivals sat at the No. 2 seed with home-field advantage. In the Wild Card round, the Bucs faced the Washington Football Team on the road, who miraculously won the NFC East with a losing record. The game was closer than expected, as backup QB Taylor Heinicke threw for 306 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 INT to pair with his 46 rushing yards and a score on the ground. They closed the game at 31-23 to advance to the Divisional round for the first time since their 2002 Super Bowl under Jon Gruden.
The Saints won at home against the Bears in the Wild Card round, which wasn’t a surprise for most. The team happily has Drew Brees healthy and under center and the team should continue to lean heavily on Alvin Kamara, who has had 22 and 23 carries in the last two games, respectively. The Saints defense held the Bears to just 11 first downs, 239 total yards and just one total third down conversion. The Bucs will present this unit with a more difficult challenge, having scored 30 points in four straight games.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, January 17
Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
TV channel: FOX
Live stream: FOX Sports
Point spread: Saints -3
Point total: 51.5
Moneyline: Saints -167, Bucs +148