Tom Brady has a 4-5 record against the Saints, with most losses coming in the past two years since he joined the Bucs. Saints defensive end Cam Jordan thinks the Saints can take the division, but his ESPN colleague Marcus Spears is not ready to give the mantle to the team just yet.
Spears thinks the Bucs are still the favorites, as long as they have Tom Brady. He said:
"The favorite in the NFC South. I love me and Cam (Jordan) talk more than we talk on TV, but he makes them the favorite in the NFC South. Now with that being said, obviously, the unknowns about what Jameis will be for a 17-week season, which I think he's gonna be very good.
As you know, I thought Jameis would have a phenomenal year and, unfortunately, suffered an ACL. But I think he's going to make the Saints obviously that team in that division that is either going to take the mantle from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
Spears also thinks Brady's consistency gives the Bucs an edge over the Saints. He said:
"But right now, because of Tom Brady and him coming back out of retirement, and I'm sure Cam can agree with this. Out of all of the things that we talked about with Tom Brady, the level of consistency, the consistency is what has made him great, the ability to play even-keeled at a very high level for an extended period of time throughout the season, no matter what's transpiring from week to week, and I think that's what players respect more about what he's been able to do throughout his career, and this manifested eight Super Bowls, so it's work obviously, but there will be competition out of that city of New Orleans this year if Jameis can stay healthy with Michael Thomas returning, and obviously we know what this defense is and will be going forward."
Why the New Orlean Saints could still take NFC South from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans was the only thorn in Tom Brady's side last year. The quarterback lost both games they played against them.
The Saints have an excellent defense that put the clamps on the Bucs twice last year, shutting Brady down. In the first game, in which Tampa Bay lost 36-27, Brady threw two interceptions that cost his team the game.
In the second game in December, the Saints defense shut the Bucs out, winning 9-0. Brady threw for just 215 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception.
Another factor, as Marcus Spears mentioned, is the play of Jameis Winston. He got off to a hot start before he tore his ACL, throwing 14 touchdowns to begin the 2021 season.
If he can continue his hot play and not turn the ball over much, the Saints have a legit chance of winning the division.