The New Orleans Saints traveled to Tampa for an NFC South divisional matchup against the Buccaneers Monday night. This game had potential playoff indications as Tom Brady and the Bucs had an incredible fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Saints 17-16.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Tampa kick the night off with a 16-play drive that burned eight and a half minutes off the clock. Running backs Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette combined for 10 touches and 40 yards. On 3rd & GOAL, Saints safety Marcus Maye tackled Fournette near the sideline short of the endzone. The Bucs settled for a 21-yard Ryan Succop field goal to take the early three-point lead.
For the Saints on their second possession, Andy Dalton connected with wide receiver Rashid Shaheed for 40 yards into Bucs territory on the 2nd & 10. They would punt after Dalton overthrew tight end, Adam Trautman, on third down.
After the defense of New Orleans forced their second punt of the game, their offense drove down the field for the game’s first touchdown. Dalton completed three passes of 19 yards or more to Shaheed, Trautman, and Taysom Hill for the 30-yard score halfway into the second quarter.
With 90 left before halftime, Demario Davis intercepted Tom Brady’s pass near midfield and returned to the 49-yard line of the Bucs. New Orleans got close enough for a field goal. Wil Lutz knocked down the 38-yard attempt with 20 seconds go to as the Saints went into the half with the 10-3 lead.
The first drive in the second half for the Buccaneers resulted in a fumble by White. Cam Jordan forced the turnover in the open field on the rookie at the 48 of the Saints. The ball was kicked backward and recovered by Carl Granderson at the New Orleans 32-yard line.
On the possession following the fumble, Hill lined up as quarterback and hit Chris Olave for a 21-yard pickup to the Tampa 23. The defense of the Bucs held the Saints to three points as Lutz drilled the chip-shot 21-yard attempt.
To begin the fourth quarter, New Orleans forced Brady and the Bucs to punt for their fourth time of the evening. Olave came up clutch on a couple of third downs with 26 and eight-yard catches. Carl Nassib tipped Dalton’s pass on third down, which resulted in a 29-yard kick by Lutz to go up by 13 with 8:02 remaining in the ball game.
Tampa cut it to within one score with a one-yard score by Cade Otton. The touchdown was set up by a 44-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Paulson Adebo. New Orleans led by six with three minutes left.
Nassib sacked Dalton on second down and the defense of Tampa forced a punt after Hill couldn’t maintain possession of the ball on third down for the catch.
Brady marched his offense down the field as hit completed short and intermediate throws. White caught the six-yard pass for the touchdown with three seconds left on the clock. Succop kicked the go-ahead PAT. New Orleans failed to score as the Bucs come from behind to defeat the Saints on Monday night 17-16.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tom Brady
Brady made another signature comeback Monday night as he threw two touchdown passes with three minutes left to complete the 17-16 win. He completed 36 out of 54 passes for 281 yards.
BIG NUMBER: 14
The defense of the Saints gave up 14 points in the last 300 seconds of Monday night’s NFC South matchup as Tampa got the narrow one-point win.
UP NEXT: The New Orleans Saints (4-9) will have their bye next week and return on December 18th to host the Atlanta Falcons.