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

3rd Quarter


  • At the beginning of the quarter the announcers throw it down to sideline reporter Laura Okmin who informs viewers that Sean Payton told her he's "gotta get the running game going."
  •  12:18 Remaininig - Garcia runs out of time and gets rid of it with a throw to B.J. Askew that gets deflected and caught by Antonio Bryant. Upon further review it looks like it may have hit the ground but the usually challenge-happy Payton does nothing. Interesting. He might have actually won it too! Bucs also do a good job of running a quick play before any challenge.
  • 11:06 Remaining - More Garcia scrambling. This time its 11 yards for the first down with goal to go. Cadillac Williams finished off the drive with a touchdown on the next play.
  • 10:00 Remaining - Brees throws very short to Reggie, who drops a very easy catch. He is visibly frustrated. Unlike Milli Vanilli, Bush cannot blame it on the rain. 
  • 9:54 Remaining - 3rd and 10. Drew Brees takes the only sack of the game from the Tampa defense. Credit this one to Greg White who stunts from the outside to the inside and is able to get penetration up the middle and take out Drew's legs. On another note, this was the Saints first drive of the half and Payton called three straight passing plays. Gotta get the running game going, huh coach?
  • 8:45 Remaining - More jinxing from the announcers. On 2nd down Brian Billick mentions that the Bucs running game should soon allow Tampa Bay to "go vertical." The very next play is a deep pass completion to Antonio Bryant for the second score of the quarter. Thank you Brian Billick. Jason David is on the coverage with Josh Bullocks in for help. They both bite on a double move but I'm not sure why Bullocks was so far up.
  • During a break they put the camera on the guys upstairs. Before anyone had ever mentioned Brian Baldinger's finger to me, I had never noticed it but I finally got a glimpse of it. That thing is nasty! Can't he just pop that thing back into place? They're doing amazing things with medicine these days.
  • 8:36 Remaining - Deuce makes his first appearance of the game with a 3 yard rush.
  • 7:59 Remaining - Gaines Adams beats the hell out of Jammal Brown with a super spin move and forces a bad Brees throw. I wonder if he gets paid as much as Will Smith or Charles Grant.
  • 7:53 Remaining - Brees hits Colston on 3rd down for the first, the second time the two have connected for big gains on big third down plays. That is Colston's bread and butter. Great to have him back. He also makes a nice 13-yard catch a few plays later.
  • 4:43 Remaining - 2nd and 2 for the Saints in the red zone. Brees throws to the right side but Barber tips the ball and Cato June makes the interception. We already heard Payton explain what went wrong with the routes by Shockey and Ortega so I will spare you the redundancy. What Payton didn't talk about was the fact that out of 8 plays in that drive, only two of them were runs. I thought you said you had to get the running game going. Deuce ran twice for 10 yards. Is that not good enough? We're almost at the end of the third quarter here and I'm not sure how much longer you want to wait before you pull the trigger on the ole running game.
  • The Saints defense forces a Bucanneer three and out following the interception. You can't ask them to do anymore than that. 
  • On the next drive Payton finally makes good on his word to run the ball and calls five Pierre rushes. Strangely enough, he moves the ball well and picks up 20 yards and 2 first downs in 4 plays. Who knew?


4th Quarter

  • 13:21 Remaining - Drew drops back to pass but Pierre Thomas can't get out of the way and even knocks the ball loose in Brees' hands. He recovers but the timing of the play is off.
  • 13:16 Remaining - Brees throws deep to the end zone but it gets picked off by Tanard Jackson. But wait...there are flags on the field. Ronde Barber gets called for illegal contact and the play is called back. Whew! I knew Drew wouldn't force a pass into double coverage like that when the game is on the line. He's too good for that. Thank you Ronde. Anyone ever tell you that you look like your brother?
  • 12:18 Remaining - Swing pass to Pierre and he does the rest for 20 yards and the score. 20-17 Tampa. The Saints gained 72 yards on that drive. Pierre had 44 of them. 
  • 10:58 Remaining - 3rd and 5. Garcia drops back and holds on to the ball too long. Vilma comes in to force the fumble and make the sack. The Bucs are forced to punt. Another big defensive play to get them off the field.
  • Unfortunately the Bucs defense also comes up big to force the Saints three and out.
  • 7:38 Remaining - Randall Gay makes a beautiful deflection to break up a pass attempt to Ike Hilliard. Really great play.
  • 7:30 Remaining - The very next play it's Jason David getting his hand in on a pass intended for Antonio Bryant. Bucs punt away. Wow! Our defense game up big again to get themselves off the field. 
  • Drew Brees' helmet mic is not working.
  • 7:16 Remaining - After a bad punt by Josh Bidwell, Shockey makes a big catch over the middle for 21 yards and into field goal territory. 
  • Saints can't get anything else going and have Hartley kick the game tying field goal. 20-20.
  • 4:56 Remaining - Garcia runs a bootleg right and hits Clayton on the crossing route. Clayton is just too big and too fast for Gay. 
  • Even after giving up some big yardage the Saints defense forces the Bucs to punt. I didn't realize how great a game these guys had and how much they really kept the team in the game, most of all towards the end. 
  • 2:33 Remaining - A Brees pass intended for Marques Colston gets picked off by Jermaine Phillips. The pass coverage appears to move away from Colston but Phillips comes in from behind the play to get himself in position. Honestly, it just looks like Drew threw it too far behind Colston. The Bucs are already well into field goal range.
  • The defense does another good job and only allows a field goal thanks in part to a Bobby McCray sack. This now allows the offense a chance to score a touchdown for the win or a field goal to tie. 23-20 Tampa.
  • 1:50 Remaining - 1st and 10. Colston can't make a sure catch over the middle.
  •  1:45 Remaining - Brees throws yet another interception on a pass intended for Lance Moore. Game over. I'm done talking about this game.