Saints 20 @ Bucs 23: Breaking it Down - The First Half

1st Quarter

  • The Saints first four offensive plays are passes mixing in quick screens with a couple of tight end passes to Shockey and Miller.
  • 11:06 Remaining - 3rd and 2. Brees completes a quick pass to Reggie to get the first down. Carl Nicks gets called for a holding penalty and it turns into 3rd and 12. Fortunately, Brees hits Colston on a nice rollout pass to Colston for the first down.
  • 10:05 Remaining - Holy crap Meachem caught a pass!
  • 8:46 Remaining - 4th and 1. It's an end around to Devery Henderson. This play usually works. Barrett Ruud does a good job sniffing it out and Devery has no where to go. Bucs get the ball.
  • There were 13 total plays in this Saints first drive. 10 of them were passes! Remember, this is the first drive not the last.  
  • 7:28 Remaining - Garcia throws over the middle on third down. The pass is completed to Michael Clayton but Vilma is right there and decides he doesn't like that idea and takes the ball himself. Great play by Vilma. Turnovers are huge.
  • 6:11 Remaining - The ever scary 3rd and 1. The Bucs line gets a good jump when Reggie gets the pitch and it doesn't look like he has anywhere to go. He turns it outside as usual but upon further review there is definitely room to turn it upfield instead. He still might not have gotten the first down but he wouldn't have lost yardage. Hartley kicks his 47-yarder into the wind. This one kick gives much hope.
  • 4:49 Remaining - Sedrick Ellis bats down a Garcia pass at the line. This is the second game in a row he has done that. An underrated quality I think.
  • 4:44 Remaining - 3rd and 4. Garcia slips through the middle and scrambles for 7 yards and the first down. Get used to the frustration. 
  • The rain starts and begins affecting the game. Antonio Bryant and Warrick Dunn both slip and help the Saints.
  • 2:03 Remaining - Garcia completes a pass to a wiiiiiide open Jerramy Stevens on the right side. There were no Saints within 10 yards of him.
  • 0:20 Remaining - Another play action from Garcia. Again he quickly decides to tuck and run. Vilma misses a tackle. Hollis Thomas gets juked. Shanle finally converges for the tackle but only after 5 yards are gained.    

2nd Quarter

  • 11:54 Remaining - Matt Bryant makes a field goal to tie it up 3-3.
  • Brees is wearing his David Carr gloves for better grip on the wet ball. 
  • Shockey drops a ball that he appears to initially catch. On the next play Reggie drops a sure thing on a short crossing pattern over the middle. On the following play Jammal Brown gets whistled for a false start. On the last play Lance jumps high for a ball that slips through his fingers. Nice little run there. Maybe the rain is to blame.
  • 13:46 Remaining - Garcia hands it off to Antonio Bryant for an end around. They get 13 yards and a first down. Ahhhh, so that's how it supposed to work. Gruden is laughing loud on the inside after that play. 
  • 13:10 Remaining - Ike Hilliard runs an out route and Jason David is in coverage. Garcia makes the throw and David jumps the route, nearly picking it off. Nice work JD.
  • 11:32 Remaining - The give is to Reggie. He tries the middle but Ryan Sims gets good penetration and gets a hand on Bush. Reggie changes direction and tried to bounce it to the sideline for the escape. It's too late and Cato June gets in there fast enough for the kill.
  • 9:58 Remaining - It's 3rd and 15 after a Shockey pass interference penalty. Brees doesn't have much time as two Tampa lineman are coming at him with speed. He has to dump it off to Bush who only gains 5 yards. 
  • 7:25 Remaining - 3rd and 2. After stopping two runs, the Saints defense comes up big when Vilma jumps forward and gets his hand in to break up a pass at the first down line. Big play. 
  • 7:07 Remaining - There is yet another miscommunication on a Brees pass to Shockey over the middle and the ball is thrown behind Shockey. This really shouldn't be an issue at this point in the season. Really. I don't want to hear the injury crap. If they aren't on the same page then Shockey just shouldn't be out there. 
  •  7:03 Remaining - The Saints finally take a shot downfield to Devery. Ronde Barber makes a perfectly timed play and breaks it up. 
  • Jammal Brown gets another holding penalty undoubtedly because he's struggling. It's declined. Payton looks pissed while at the same time not surprised at all. 
  • On the ensuing punt Pakulak kicks it from about the Saints 2 yard line. It appears to land at about the Bucs 25. If you do the math thats about 70 yards. Incredible.  
  • 5:52 Remaining - Shanle comes flying in on the Bucs right side completely untouched. He wraps up Garcia for the sack. 
  • 4:28 Remaining - 4th and 3. Saints defense does a good job holding the Bucs but Tampa decides to go for it. I hope you're sitting for this one. No sooner are the announcers finished talking about Garcia's ability to scramble do the Saints lineman shoot past the Bucs quarterback, leaving the middle wide open for Garcia to take advantage of an unaware secondary and a slippery field. He not only gets the first down but picks up 17 more yards on top of that. It is the third longest rush for the Bucaneers 2008 season.
  • 2:45 Remaining - Good pressure from the Saints defensive line forces Garcia to scramble on 3rd down and make a bad throw. Sedrick Ellis gets a huge hit on Garcia and throws him to the ground as he gets rid of it. Bucs settle for a field goal to go up 6-3. 
  • Aside from the earlier miscommunication, Shockey has made some catches, picked up some first downs and been a factor in the offense during the first half.
  • 1:55 Remaining - Drew Brees throws a rocket deep to Colston over the middle. Colston makes a nice move to slip past Barber and makes the catch in between the zone coverage.
  • 0:40 Remaining - Lance Moore gets to an open spot in the end zone and waits for Drew to find him for the touchdown. Saints go into the half with the 10-6 lead. 

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