The Buccaneers are seeking a consecutive NFC South championship for the first time in franchise history. It won’t be the easiest draw, however, considering their recent regular season luck with the Saints.
But that could very well change in 2022.
This is because the weekend produced a report stating Saints running back Alvin Kamara is bracing for a six-game suspension in 2022. It comes after Kamara allegedly assaulted a man in Las Vegas the night before the 2021-2022 Pro Bowl. Kamara told police he “threw a couple punches” at the victim and is now facing a felony charge of assault.
The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy states felonious, criminal assault charges require a baseline suspension of six games (not six weeks), regardless of guilt or innocence. Kamara could also be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which constitutes an indefinite suspension with pay.
If Kamara is suspended for a minimum of six games, it would be a major win for the Buccaneers. In more ways than one.
For starters, the Buccaneers play the Saints in Week 2. Kamara has been a thorn in the Buccaneers’ side, for the most part, and the Saints offense is in a slight transition after the departures of Sean Payton and a couple of key players. A Kamara-less Saints team would certainly give the Bucs a big advantage in that game.
If the Buccaneers beat the Saints without Kamara, that will obviously go a long way toward winning the division and securing a playoff spot. But, the key thing here is that the Saints’ first three games of 2022 are all division games. Sure, the Panthers and Falcons won’t strike fear into the hearts of many -if any, at all- however, let’s not forget the Falcons did beat the Saints last year. Even if it was with Trevor Siemian at quarterback.
Two of those three games are on the road, too.
The Saints then host the Vikings, Seahawks, and Bengals. Two of those three are easily defined as “losable” games.
If Kamara is suspended for six games (remember, it could be even more) and the Saints come out of their first six games with a 3-3 or 2-4 record that includes a loss to the Buccaneers, then you better believe the Bucs and their fans will feel very, very good about the rest of the season moving forward.
And right now, in June, that’s gotta be music to Bucs Nation.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports