Although the Buccaneers managed to beat the Saints in the divisional round of the 2020 playoffs, Tampa Bay remains 0-4 in the regular season against the Saints during Tom Brady‘s time with the team. As a result, Bucs coach Todd Bowles currently isn’t viewing the twice-per-year series as a rivalry.
“Yeah, I think throughout the whole building, [we feel] it’s our time to give them one — to give it back to them,” tackle Tristan Wirfs told reporters on Wednesday. “Coach [Todd] Bowles said today, ‘It’s not a rivalry unless there’s some give-and-take.’ We definitely want to come out and put our best foot forward. I think that’s what it’s been — one game could be us shooting ourselves in the foot, penalties — next game, we get the penalties under control but then give the ball to them and turn it over. It’s [about] honing everything in, having good fundamentals and technique, good attitude, good effort and going out there and playing a tough game.”
The Saints have won the last six regular-season games against the Bucs, dating back to the first year with Bruce Arians serving as head coach and Todd Bowles working as defensive coordinator. None has been very close; the margins are 17, seven, 35, 11, nine, and nine.
Last year, the Saints shut out the Bucs on a Sunday night with coach Sean Payton unavailable due to a COVID diagnosis. That game surely helped justify the decision to make defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who handled that game with Payton out, the permanent replacement.