The start of Sunday’s contest between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t what many expected, but at the end of the day, Drew Brees and crew pulled out a 34-23 win over Tom Brady and the Bucs.
How It Happened:
The Saints got put behind the eight-ball early after being forced to punt despite a good start to the drive with a 12-yard pass to Taysom Hill on the first play from scrimmage. The Buccaneers took advantage with a nine-play march down the field that was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Tom Brady to take the early lead.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Saints finally got on the board early in the second quarter with Drew Brees connecting with Alvin Kamara on a 12-yard pass to tie things up. The Saints defense followed that up with a huge drive of their own with Marcus Williams picking off a deep pass intended for Mike Evans and returning it to Tampa Bay’s 35-yard line. After a defensive pass interference call, Alvin Kamara found the endzone for the second time on the afternoon with a six-yard run.
The Buccaneers looked to be building some momentum on the following drive after an unnecessary roughness call on Marshon Lattimore moved them deep into Saints territory. However, the next three plays pushed them back to the New Orleans 36-yard line, setting up a 54-yard field goal that was blocked by Margus Hunt, who was signed to the 53-man roster the day before. That set up a late field goal by Wil Lutz to make it 17-7 as both teams headed into the locker room.
The second half couldn’t have started any better for New Orleans with Janoris Jenkins picking off Brady for a touchdown, making it a 24-7 ballgame. However, Brady wasted little time getting Tampa Bay back into the ballgame thanks to a pass interference call that set them up at the Saints 30. Just two plays later, the veteran QB found tight end OJ Howard in the endzone to make it a 24-14 contest.
The Buccaneers got within a touchdown late in the third quarter with a 38-yard field goal from Ryan Succop. The Saints started to pull away in the fourth quarter with Brees connecting with Jared Cook on a 46-yard pass that set up a five-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders to make it a 31-17 lead.
The special teams for New Orleans shined yet again after Mike Edwards muffed the kickoff, which was recovered by Bennie Fowler setting the Saints up for a chip-shot field goal to put the game away.
Big Number: 10,191
Just when you thought that the longtime Saints quarterback had secured every record imaginable, he broke another one on Sunday: career pass attempts. The 41-year-old QB broke the record set by Brett Favre with his 30 pass attempts on Sunday, making it a whopping 10,191 pass attempts over his 20-year career.
Player of the Game: Janoris Jenkins
While everyone will remember the pick-six to start the second-half, Jenkins had a great overall performance with 10 total tackles and a pass deflection.
Next Game: Monday September 21st at Las Vegas Raiders; Kickoff at 7:15 pm