By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The Saints bounced back from last week's embarrassing loss to Atlanta by dominating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium today. Drew Brees was Drew Brees, as he carved up the Tampa defense all day long. Alvin Kamara also had a solid outing, rushing for 75 yds on 13 carries, adding 47 yds receiving on 10 catches. Michael Thomas had a big day with 8 catches for 114 yds and a touchdown. But the most impressive part of the 34-17 victory was the solid performance by the defense, which totally shut down Tampa Bay's running game, only allowing 36 total yds on the ground. They also intercepted Jameis Winston 4 times, returning one for a score, with the last coming with 2:45 left in the game to thwart the Bucs last scoring opportunity. Winston finished the day with 30/51, 313 yds passing, 2 TDs, 4 INTs. He was also the teams leading rusher with 23 yds on 2 carries. Overall, Who Dat Nation have to be very happy with today's performance by their team, as the Saints again showed that they are one of the most solid teams in the NFL.
New Orleans started quickly, with Will Lutz kicking FGs, (44 & 26 yds), on their first two possessions of the game. The Saints scored on the final play of the quarter with Brees hitting Michael Thomas on a 16 yd pass, which was set up my an interception by Damario Davis deep in Buccaneers territory.
In the 2nd qtr, the Saints increased their lead to 20-0, on a 13 play, 51 yd drive, capped off with a 3 yd TD pass from Brees to TE Jared Cook. Tamps Bay finished off the 1st half scoring with a Winston to Peyton Barber TD completion from 6 yds out, after going 75 yds in 7 plays. The teams went to the break with New Orleans holding a 20-7 lead.
To start the second half, the Buccaneers struck first as Tampa Bay kicker, Matt Gay split the uprights on a 55 yd FG, making the score 20-10. The Saints eventually answered on a long 10 play, 85 yd drive, eating 5:41 off the clock, with Drew Brees completing a 6 yd TD pass to Ted Ginn. The PAT by Lutz, put the score at 27-10. Tampa finished out the scoring in the quarter with 75 yd TD drive, as Chris Godwin grabbed a 6 yd pass in the end zone from Winston..
The only score of the final period came on a beautiful 55 yd pick six by Saints safety Marcus Williams. Late in the game Jameis Winston drove the Buccaneers to the Saints goal line. On 3rd & goal at the 1 yd line, Winston attempted a pass into the far side of the end zone. The pass was poorly thrown and intercepted by PJ Williams ending Tampa Bay's final scoring threat and the game. FINAL SCORE: Saints 34, Buccaneers 17
The Saints improve their record to 8-2 on the season and host the Carolina Panthers at 12 noon in the Mercedes Benz Super Dome next weekend. New Orleans will look to extend their 3 game Division lead on Carolina as the Panthers, (5-5), fell to the Atlanta Falcons today, 29-3.