Drew Brees had an off game for New Orleans in their surprising 26-9 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home last weekend. What ended up becoming the cure for his woes last week after being sacked six times was facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 32nd ranked pass defense.
Defending the pass and turnovers have become Tampa Bay’s two biggest woes this season and both issues popped their ugly heads into the game today, as Brees threw three touchdown passes and Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston three four interceptions, as the Buccaneers fell 34–17 at home to the New Orleans Saints.
After winning 30-27 in thrilling fashion last week against the Arizona Cardinals, it looked as if Tampa Bay might’ve turned the corner. That notion was proved terribly wrong at Raymond James Stadium and all the problems surrounding the team were displayed in the opening quarter of play.
New Orleans (8-2) scored a field goal on its first possession of the game, something they had done only once before all season long. Tampa Bay (3-7) followed that up with an unforced error, as Winston was intercepted off a bobbled catch attempt by tight end OJ Howard. Though the miscue was more on Howard for Winston’s interception, the turnover bug didn’t stop there.
The Saints built a commanding 20-0 lead during the second quarter and the Buccaneers needed some kind of scoring play to get themselves back into the game. They ended up getting it in the form of a 6-yard touchdown pass from Winston to Peyton Barber, cutting the Saints’ lead to 20-7. Tampa Bay had an opportunity to add more points just before halftime, but an errant Winston pass to Godwin was intercepted, ending the half.
Tampa Bay inched themselves a little closer after halftime on a 55-yard field goal by Matt Gay, to close the gap to 20-10. New Orleans capped their very next drive with a touchdown from Brees to Tedd Ginn Jr. to put the Saints up 27-10, but Winston and the offense fired back with a scoring drive of their own. Winston (336 yards) connected with Godwin for a 30-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 27-17.
The Buccaneers forced a stop, but a Winston interception in the fourth quarter ended up sealing the deal with about five minutes to go. New Orleans’ safety PJ Williams picked Winston off and returned it for a touchdown, thus ending any comeback attempt. Now Tampa Bay must regroup and face a now confident Atlanta Falcons team that dominated the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
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