Saints Earn a Dramatic 35-28 Road Win Over Buccaneers | neworleanssaints.com
The New Orleans Saints (2-4) defeated NFC South Division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) in a 35-28 shootout on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | NFL.com
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New Orleans Saints 35 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28 | ESPN.com
GAMEHQ: Includes recap, stats, play-by-play, drive charts, and photos.
Saints at Buccaneers Official Photo Gallery | neworleanssaints.com
Michael C. Hebert
Saints @ Bucs: Photos | NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints offensive plays against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fl. Sunday October 21, 2012. The Saints beat the Bucs 35-28.
Saints @ Bucs: Photos | NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints defensive plays against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fl. Sunday October 21, 2012. The Saints beat the Bucs 35-28.
From the Saints Sideline
New Orleans Saints barely hold off Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-28 | NOLA.com
Larry Holder - Nothing has been easy for the New Orleans Saints in 2012. There's never been a time to relax.
Saints escape Tampa with 35-28 win over Bucs | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger - Roman Harper wasn’t worried when Mike Williams caught a 9-yard pass from Josh Freeman on the final play of Sunday’s NFC South tilt in Tampa.
New Orleans Saints defense continues to get team in and out of trouble in 35-28 victory: First take | NOLA.com
Mike Triplett - Saints give up too many big plays but make just enough of their own.
Drew Brees gives another routine, spectacular performance in New Orleans Saints victory: 10 observations | NOLA.com
Saints columnist Mike Triplett offers 10 more observations on Saints' 35-28 victory over Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Rapid Reaction: Saints 35, Buccaneers 28 | ESPN.com
Pat Y. - Thoughts on the New Orleans Saints’ 35-28 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
As long as there's a chance and Brees, Saints have life | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger - Jonathan Casillas stood in the locker room in the depths of Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon and quietly slipped on his white sport coat with cheetah print lining.
Drew Brees needs to keep carrying the New Orleans Saints | ESPN.com
Pat Y. - Somewhere, Joe Vitt was watching the New Orleans Saints defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 35-28, on Sunday.
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma returns to give team an emotional spark | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Vilma played mostly in Saints nickel package.
Vilma’s return a good one for the linebacker, Saints | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger - For the first time in nearly nine months, Jonathan Vilma stood at a locker in an NFL stadium, getting dressed as reporters and cameramen waited for him to snap the last button through its hole in his brown plaid shirt.
New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Morgan taken to hospital for observation | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer says hospital visit was precautionary.
New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas finally scores a TD - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas, who entered the season with 30 career touchdowns, finally scored his first touchdown of the season.
Fish or Fowl? | Who Dat Social Club
Himself - So we won. We’re 2-4. But what are we?
Saints Escape Tampa with 35-28 Win | thesaintsnation.com
Andrew Juge - An offensive touchdown that would tie the game on the final play was negated by a legitimate illegal touching penalty saved the Saints and allowed them to leave Tampa with a fortunate 35-28 win.
From the Crow's Nest
Bucs Fall Just Short in Shootout with Saints | buccaneers.com
A 21-7 lead and early momentum – not to mention a spirited fourth-quarter comeback – fall prey to Drew Brees’ precision passing and missed opportunities on offense as the Saints storm back for a 35-28 victory Sunday.
Ronde Barber: Bucs Fought But Made Too Many Mistakes | buccaneers.com
Captain's Blog - On Sunday against the Saints – a team he has twice victimized for three interceptions in a single game – Barber passed Brooks and became the most experienced starter in franchise history.
Jackson Guts Out Biggest Receiving Day in Team History | buccaneers.com
Captain's Blog - Vincent Jackson had 216 receiving yards in Sunday’s shootout loss to the Saints, the most in a single game in Buccaneers history.
Bucs defense fails to limit Brees' potent attack | TBO.com
Ira Kaufman - Not enough pressure, too many breakdowns.
Bucs won't soon forget longest yard | TBO.com
Martin Fennelly - They made 513 yards of offense, but it was the yard they didn't make that mattered.
Bucs' offensive numbers sparkling, result unsightly | TBO.com
Erik Erlendsson - The longest passing play in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history wound up resulting in New Orleans' winning touchdown drive.
c/o Buccaneers PR via neworleanssaints.com
HEAD COACH AARON KROMER
(On the overall game)
"That was a good performance by us today. I'm proud of the team. It was a well-fought game. You look at the game and you say to yourself, ‘We're down 14 points. We're down 14-0.' We have the resolve in our locker room that I keep telling you guys about and you're starting to believe it. This group never gives up and they keep battling. We found a way to score 28 unanswered points and get up in that game and then finish better than we have in the past. So, what we did was we had a strong offense, defense, good complementary special teams, complementary football, team football, that helped us win that game today. I'm proud of the team and I'm proud of the group, because they just keep battling. That's what we talk about and I continually say that we're getting better each week and that's what we're doing. It's starting to show on the field."
(On CB Malcolm Jenkins preventing WR Vincent Jackson's touchdown)
"You talk about a game-changing play, and a guy that's not going to give up. He's going to finish on a play. We talk about winning the fight of each play and Malcolm running [Jackson] down, obviously, and getting that goal line stand was a huge turnaround in that game as far as just not allowing (Tampa Bay) to get that score. It really boosted our confidence and gave our defense the confidence they needed."
(On the team's improvement)
"I'm happy for the team. I'm happy we won today. I'm happy we won last week. I'm really happy that we took a team that was not playing well early and we continued to practice, we continued to work, continued to believe and won two games in a row; we're going for our third."
(On what he's learned being a first-time head coach)
"I still believe it's about the team. It's about the organization and I'm glad. I'm happy for (Defensive Coordinator) Steve Spagnuolo. I'm happy for (Special Teams Coordinator) Greg McMahon and (Offensive Coordinator) Pete Carmichael. They did a good job today and we won this game. We're looking forward to Denver."
(On the play of QB Drew Brees)
"We've seen Drew, as the receivers got healthy in the last four games, really up his game. We talk about in town, after practices, that Drew plays best when his players around him are playing well, and that's what happened today. Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore, obviously, on third down did a wonderful job of converting third downs for us today. Obviously, missing Jimmy Graham, but we were able to overcome it with other guys stepping up."
QB DREW BREES
(On the impending return of Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach Joe Vitt)
"Obviously he's a big piece to the puzzle. We all love Joe Vitt. He brings a certain element, a certain intensity. I miss his stories. I miss sitting next to him on the bus ride over to games. I miss just seeing him every day; I think we all do. I'm definitely excited to have him back."
(On the second consecutive win)
"That's all we want to do. We want to get on a streak here, but you've got to win more than one before you're on a streak. Now we've got two. We want to keep that going."
(On the significance of the goal-line stand)
"You look at that sequence: all of the sudden (Tampa Bay was) about to tie the game. The (New Orleans) defense has a goal line stand. Now in their mind they are thinking, ‘Hey we went for it on fourth down because now we have them pinned back. We're just expecting to stop them, and get great field position.' But we had a different plan in mind. We got a big first down in one play and then all of a sudden we're going down and making it a two-possession game. That was a huge sequence of events, a huge momentum shifter."
(On bouncing back from the team's slow start to the game)
"They came out fast. But what I like is that despite all of a sudden being down 14 points and doing all the things we said we wouldn't do - which was turn the ball over, give up some big plays and all that - we still remained calm, together, and we were just methodical. To put together the drives that we did, four in a row - defense coming up with some big stops to give us the opportunity to two-minute drive at the end of the half to get more points - that was big."
(On WR Joseph Morgan)
"Joe Morgan's young. He's raw. He's a talent, but, just like any position, especially the receiver position, you know it takes time. Certainly there's a rapport with it that I want to build with him. There are a lot of great things that he can do and I just want to continue to take baby steps with him. As you can see he can make some plays when given the opportunity. It's just a matter of picking and choosing our spots, but certainly we'd love to see an expanded role with him within the framework of what we do."
(On his thoughts during the game's final seconds)
"It's interesting, because if you're the one out there on the field and you're in the moment it's completely different. When you're on the sideline you try to become a fan and it's just nerve-racking. But also you've got that confidence that the defense is going to make this play and win this game."
LB JONATHAN VILMA
(On his first game this season)
"It was one of those where I tried to not let my emotions get the best of me. I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I was going to hurt the team or anything like that, so I tried not to be over-excited. It was really a lot to prepare for, so I'd much rather focus on the preparation going into the game, and then, when I was out, I could let the emotions go."
(On preparing for the game)
"I thought I did a good job. I didn't have any mental errors or any mental mistakes. I was able to prepare for the Mike (linebacker) and the Will (linebacker) and the nickel package as well, (but) that part is not the hard part. Being able to block things out, especially during the week, it's easy. We put in 10 or 12-hour days and it's easy to get lost in football and the other team and worrying about how to defend them."
(On the defense's goal-line stand)
"That was huge. Really, the play before that, Malcolm Jenkins running down Vincent Jackson to put us on the goal line, then the goal line stand, those were about five huge plays right there and it decided the game. We won by seven (points) and that's what we needed."
(On building off the win)
"We are riding a two-game win streak and that's the most important thing. As long as we are winning, we can correct the other things, and correct the little things and get better. But the fact that we are doing it and we are winning is great."
LB CURTIS LOFTON
(On the goal-line stand)
"Any time they get down there, you say you don't want to give up seven, you want to give up the three, and they wanted to go for it on fourth down. We knew what play it was going to be. We told them, ‘Watch the quarterback, watch the quarterback,' and Cameron (Jordan) did an awesome job, kept him in the pocket and actually stripped him and, you know, that's how we play."
(On what the win means for the team)
"The San Diego game was a springboard; this is just building on that. We are going to build on the next one and keep building and keep building and we can grind this one down, but just staying humble and hungry."
S ROMAN HARPER
(On the Buccaneers' final drive)
"It was good that at the end of the game, we got a stop on defense to win the game. You hate it because they got it down there and made it close, but, overall, you'll take the win just like any other time. We just need to clean up some mistakes - little plays here and there that kept them in the game."
(On winning the game)
"As long as we win, it's not even about the [positives and negatives]. To get the win, we fought hard. I think we had almost 20 plays in the red zone. We continued to fight battles and do whatever we had to do to help this team win. We got crooked in the two-minute drill a little bit and gave up some plays. I don't know what happened, but as long as we stick together, we can always fix that."
(On improving as the season progresses)
"At the end of the day, I don't know how much better we got. I know we won the game. That's always a positive. We were always finding ways to lose a game and now we're finding ways to win a game. Whether it's the offense, defense, or the special teams, there are plenty of complements involved with each other, and we're just trying to do what's best for this team. You can see that everybody is buying in and I like where our direction is and where this team is headed."
RB PIERRE THOMAS
(On the development of the team)
"Coming off this bye week, well, right before the bye week, with that victory we had against the Chargers, we wanted to make a stand right there. We wanted to make a tone to set to everybody and ourselves to say ‘Hey, this is where it turns around for us, this is where it starts.' We got our first victory, you know, let's keep this feeling going, let's keep this momentum and this hype that we have going, to keep carrying ourselves throughout the rest of the season. We got to take it game by game. Tampa was a great team (and the) defense is very solid, but we came in with the attitude, ‘Hey, we got to win this; we got to fight, no matter what.' We are going to take it to each and every one of our opponents, every snap. We came out here and we established that."
S MALCOLM JENKINS
(On stopping WR Vincent Jackson's long reception)
"The first (thought) is ‘run.' You see him catch it and Roman (Harper) almost made a play on the ball (but) just missed it, and there is nobody around, so the first thing is just run to see what happens. As I got down the field, I saw him start to slow down a bit and saw that I was able to catch him. It was a huge break for us to get them down inside the five and just give our team a chance."
HEAD COACH GREG SCHIANO
(On the game)
"It's a team game. You make one stop or you put the ball in (the end zone). But, look, you score there and kick the PAT, (and) it's still a tie game; someone has to win. We're still playing football, there's no guarantee you win. We did some really good things, but we made enough mistakes today. We made more mistakes today on D than we've made (in previous games). I won't say combined all year, but certainly the most of any game. We have to do a better job of coaching it. We have to do a better job of playing it. Unfortunately, a combination of those things and missed opportunities (cost the team). Our hats are off to New Orleans, they found a way to win."
(On defensive mistakes)
"Some coverage mistakes, some pass rush things. We just weren't as precise as we needed to be. Again, hats off to New Orleans: they did some things that stress you a little bit defensively and we didn't handle it as well as I anticipated. It comes back to coaching. You have to have them ready to do those things. I have to, as the head coach, have our guys ready to adjust to that more quickly."
(On defensive approach)
"It's a mix. When you have a guy like Drew Brees, you have to mix it up. One thing you can't do is just give them a look because they will pick you apart. He may pick you apart anyway, but he will definitely do it if you have one look coming at him."
(On the final play)
"I was very excited that we scored. Obviously, we're going for one and I'm thinking about overtime - who going to go do the coin toss and how we are going to go and all that. That quickly left my mind when I saw the one official's hat off. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what that equals."
(On offensive production)
"I'm really pleased. Our quarterback had tremendous output and production. Again, missed opportunities both defensively, offensively, and even in the kicking game. If you make one of those plays, who knows. But we are sitting here at 2-4 and we're saying this old song and dance. That's the way it is until we get it changed, until we find a way to change it. Close but no cigar. We have to get it better."
QB JOSH FREEMAN
(On the final play)
"I thought the offensive line did an amazing job on that play. You know, (on) that play, everyone is working in the end zone. It's kind of run an initial run and try to get open, and the saints did a good job of covering the initial routes, sitting there and going through. The O-line held up, sort of converging a little bit, but they gave me an opportunity to escape. Mike (Williams) caught (the ball), he was in bounds when he caught it, and you don't really see anything leading up to that, but it's such a rush of emotion thinking that you made the play to keep it going. Obviously it didn't turn out that way."
(On losing despite the offensive production)
"It's just win-loss to us. It's black and white. We go in and prepare as well as we can, and the next week you try to go out and prepare even better. We come out and we give it all we got. This week it just didn't go our way. The Saints are a heck of a football team. In my mind, they made more plays, scored more points."
(On New Orleans' goal-line stand)
"You look at our goal line offense up to this point, we were able to make it but I know they did something different with their front. They shifted a little bit and just made the plays. This is a league that comes down to execution. You can have the best scheme in the world, but if you are unable to execute then it's all for naught. Down there we just didn't get it done."
(On playing against QB Drew Brees)
"Drew is an elite quarterback. He is able to manage his offense, and (the offense) is really hard for people to stop. Just seeing some of the passes and plays he makes, the guy is a tremendous competitor."
(On WR Tiquan Underwood)
"I think Tiquan brings a lot to the team, just as a player and his personality. The guy is a great guy and teammate to have. You are happy with the way he works. (He's a) great guy to be around and a lot of fun. He makes plays. You saw it today: there were a number of situations where especially towards the end, the play down the middle, the high ball that he got, and even last week. I'm really proud of Tiquan and the way he works the way he competes and happy to have him as a teammate."
TE DALLAS CLARK
(On moving forward)
"We are maturing, (we) understand that we can't hang our heads too long. We got a game in the blink of an eye. We got to learn from this one (and) put it to bed a lot quicker than on a normal week and come back and get ready for Minnesota."
"You can pick whatever you want to where we had our chances to win this game and we just didn't make them. Give all the credit to (New Orleans): they caused the penalty. They're doing the things, we have to be better."
(On the New Orleans defense)
"They blitzed a lot more, but I think we were picking it up. Then, when we're falling short, there's a guy here, a hit there. Just stuff you can't do against this team. That's just put(s) a lot of pressure on you."
WR TIQUAN UNDERWOOD
(On the passing game)
"The (offensive) line did a good job giving Josh (Freeman) time today. He just hit the open guys. Unfortunately, we didn't execute as much as we needed to. Hats off to the New Orleans Saints. They played a great game coming back and made the plays needed to be made to win it."
(On his involvement with the offense)
"(I'm) just going to work every day (and) trying to work hard on my game; trying to gain the trust of the coaches."
WR MIKE WILLIAMS
(On the loss)
"All of our losses are tough, but we fought for this one. We came back and tied this game to get into overtime, and I stepped out of bounds."
(On the performance of QB Josh Freeman)
"That was great man. It (would have) looked good with four touchdown passes and some more yards, but he had a great day. He performed how he did, and, like I tell people, he (is) the truth. He came back and showed that he (is) the truth. If I don't step out of bounds, we go into overtime and get a chance to win."
DT ROY MILLER
(On the defense)
"The offense did their thing; (this) is on us today. (The) pass rush wasn't there. That was our focus, especially on first and second down. We just didn't do it, didn't get (New Orleans) uncomfortable. That's on us, as a team. It works both ways: the secondary and the defensive line have to be on the same page. When you're not on the same page, and you're not rushing or you're not covering, or either one, things like that happen. The whole defense had things here and there that contributed to what happened today. As the defensive line, we always put it on our shoulders, and we just didn't get there today."
(On the loss)
"We are just getting sick of being in these tight games, we're just getting sick of it. If you look back, on all of the games we lost, they were all pretty close, this is just another one that is sickening; we beat ourselves in situations and it's just frustrating.
CB ERIC WRIGHT
(On defense during the second half)
"It was a little bit of both (execution and adjustments). We made a few adjustments, we just tried to limit those big plays, and some of the things we basically gift wrapped to them."
(On the short week)
"You can look at it in many different ways. Obviously, as players, we're excited to get another game as soon as possible. We always do the same thing, regardless of the schedule. We'll correct some things, build on some things that we did well, and get ready for the next game."
WR VINCENT JACKSON
(On the loss)
"Tough loss. Obviously we fought hard at the end, tried to come back, but came up a little short. Hats off to the Saints, they played a good game and they finished well."
(On his 95-yard reception)
"I came out there and did the best I could. I obviously wasn't 100-percent today, but I went out there to fight and gave it everything I got every play. We tried to get down there in the red zone, try to improve and come away with points. We think we have an offensive line that can move people and get someone to punch it in. But, again, hats off to the Saints, they played tough."
(On not scoring from the one-yard line)
"I mean we're going to have to go back and look at the film, you don't lose a game by one play. There're some things in all three phases of the game that we can improve on. We will do that, we will make the corrections and we will get better, and we'll come back and play hard on Thursday."
DT GERALD MCCOY
(On his thoughts during the game's final drive)
"It's not over ‘til it's over. You just keep the hope. It's not what we were looking for, but that's this league. All credit goes to the Saints."
(On QB Josh Freeman's performance)
"He came to play. He knew who he was facing. He knew who the other side had. He came out and showed that he could do it, too."
(On being 2-4 instead of 3-3)
"That's the NFL. You just have to take it with a grain of salt and move on to the next one. (New Orleans) played well enough to get the ‘W.' It's over, we're moving on to the Vikings."
DB RONDE BARBER
(On the loss)
"We stayed in it, fought, tried to win. Gave ourselves a chance, which we've done in all of our losses, unfortunately or fortunately, no matter how you look at it. Yeah, it's a tad frustrating. You do enough in some areas, certainly not enough in a lot of others."
(On QB Drew Brees' rhythm with the offense)
"Give him all the credit. He's been working with these guys for a lot of years. If you don't pressure the guy and he has time to throw, his guys know where to run to the zone, sit down, convert third downs, (and) keep the chains moving. He does it better than anybody in the game."
(On the defense's inability to stop the offense)
"We've got to do our jobs better. A lot of those plays weren't him [Drew Brees], they were us. They're correctable, but in the immediacy of them it's very disappointing on our part."
(On the upcoming short week)
"The short work week, it is what it is. We've got to come in tomorrow and be done with New Orleans. I think we'll all be comfortable with that. Getting to play on Thursday, get the chance to go on the national stage, and really show what we're all about. It can't be a performance like this. It's got to be our best ball."
DE MICHAEL BENNETT
(On the loss)
"Yeah, you [have] got to get over it. It's the NFL, you [have] got to go to the next game. You have to have that mentality, so we're going to be ready for the next game and hopefully we come out with a ‘W.'"
(On the defense in the second half)
"We just came out and played a lot better than we did in the first half. (New Orleans) schemed up better in the first half, but, obviously, in the second half, we came back and made a lot of adjustments to what they were doing."