The New Orleans Saints kicked off Week 2 of the NFL season and their home opener with NFC South rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a low-scoring affair throughout most of the game with Tampa scoring a touchdown on offense and defense to get the 20-10 over the Black and Gold.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
New Orleans received the ball to start the game a drove down the field. Running back Mark Ingram carried the ball three times for 23 yards while Tony Jones Jr got involved in the passing game. Quarterback Jameis Winston started 5/6, but the Saints would settle for a 31-yard Wil Lutz field to take the early three-point lead.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers extended their drive multiple times with two third and long conversions to wide receiver Scotty Miller down for the right sideline and Mike Evans across the middle. Brady on third and 3rd & 1 fumbled the under-the-center snap and linebacker Demario Davis recovered the ball at the New Orleans 25-yard line.
The Saints couldn’t take advantage of the turnover even after they got a fresh set of downs and had to punt back to Tampa.
Evans got the Bucs to the Saints 30 on a 41-yard catch on third down. Leonard Fournette tried to pick up the first on 4th &1, but the Saints’ defense stuffed them and gave possession back to their offense.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the next few drives and we went to halftime with the Saints leading 3-0.
Tampa Bay got the ball to start the second half. Brady tried to hit Miller for another big third down, but the pass was dropped.
After New Orleans punted back to Tampa Bay, Brady led his team down the field into Saints territory. The Bucs would end up tying the game at three a piece with a 47-yard Ryan Succop field goal at the 6:44 mark of the third quarter.
The Saints had their longest possession since the first drive of the game and got to the red zone. Ingram and Dwayne Washington were carrying the ball well, but Ingram fumbled the ball at the 10-yard line and Carl Nassib of the Bucs recovered.
During the next Bucs drive, Shy Tuttle sacked Brady and Marshon Lattimore didn’t allow the deep pass to Miller to be completed. After the play, Lattimore, Fournette, Brady, and Evans were involved in an altercation. Evans and Lattimore would get ejected from the game and New Orleans would get the ball after the punt.
The next drive for New Orleans wouldn’t last long as Winston tried to connect with Chris Olave deep. The pass was intercepted however by Jamel Dean in the end zone.
Controversial calls on the Saints’ defense kept the Bucs’ drive alive as Brady hit Breshad Perriman for a 28-yard touchdown. Tampa Bay led 10-3 with 7:41 left in the game.
Winston was picked off for a second time the following drive and gave the Bucs a chance to extend their lead. Succop would knock one through the uprights as the New Orleans deficit was now 10.
Mike Andrews would get himself a pick-6 off of Winston to push the Tampa Bay lead to 20-3 with 4:11 left in the contest.
New Orleans responded well with a touchdown drive that resulted in a seven-yard score by Thomas. The Bucs would maintain a their lead the rest of the way though. The Saints suffered their first loss of the season by a score of 20-10.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mike Edwards
Edwards’ interception returned for a touchdown, three tackles and pass deflection helped seal the win for Tampa Bay.
BIG NUMBER: 5
The New Orleans Saints turned the ball over five times as Jameis Winston was intercepted three times (all in the fourth quarter), including a pick-6.
UP NEXT: The New Orleans Saints (1-1)travel to Carolina(1-1) to play the Panthers for their third straight divisional matchup on the season. The kickoff is set for 12:00 on Sunday, September 25th.