How It Happened:
The Saints defense came out of the gates strong, forcing a three-and-out on the opening drive with the only positive yards coming from a seven-yard run by Ronald Jones. The Saints then marched down the field with a nine-play drive highlighted by a 14-yard pass from Taysom Hill to Jared Cook on 3rd-and-3 to keep the drive alive. Just a few plays later, Brees found Tre’Quan Smith with a well-placed shot in the back of the endzone to take an early lead.
It was more of the same for the Bucs second possession and the Saints wasted little time getting back into enemy territory with Brees connecting with Deonte Harris on a short pass that turned into a 40-yard pass. However, a Jared Cook fumble recovered by Levonte David stopped New Orleans from making it 14-0.
That 7-0 lead didn’t last long after another three-and-out by the Saints defense gave them the ball right back. Brees then marched the team down the field and an Adam Trautman touchdown extended the lead. After a fourth straight three-and-out, the Saints made it 21-0 early in the second quarter with another touchdown pass from Brees, this time to Emmanuel Sanders, who stretched out to the goal line for the score.
The game officially got out of hand just two offensive plays later with David Onyemata picking off Tom Brady, giving them a short field and a 28-0 lead after a one-yard run by Alvin Kamara. The first half offensive outburst ended in the final moments of the second quarter with 36-yard field goal from Wil Lutz to make it 31-0 after the break.
The second half started off poorly for New Orleans with Brees fumbling the football, which was recovered by Shaq Barrett giving Tampa Bay a short field to work with, but the Saints defense stepped up in a big way with a goal-line stand.
After Thomas Morstead’s first punt of the night, the Buccaneers were cooking on a drive, but another interception set up the final score for New Orleans. The Saints then put together a ten-play drive that ended with Brees’ fourth touchdown pass of the night, connecting with Josh Hill on a three-yard pass.
Big Number: 3
Tom Brady struggled mightily against the Saints defense, throwing three interceptions inside Raymond James Stadium. The Saints also made the most of it, turning two of them into 14 points and the only one that didn’t turn into points was at the end of the first half.
Player of the Game: Drew Brees
The Saints QB headed into Sunday night was trailing Brady for the all-time touchdown record. By the end of the night, Brees was able to take back the record with four touchdowns. Another stellar night for who many are calling “The real G.O.A.T”.
Next Up: Sunday vs 49ers; Kickoff at 3:25