It wasn't a pretty game for Drew Brees. who threw two ugly interceptions and took four sacks. The running game was ineffective and the offensive line play was disappointing. Fortunately, Tampa Bay's defense proved to be undisciplined, taking stupid, cheap penalties and shooting themselves in the foot on multiple occasions.
Jimmy Graham was definitely the player of the game for the Saints, with a Madden-like 10 catches for 179 yards.
Fortunately, Rob Ryan and this Saints defense is for real. Other than giving up huge chunks of yards to Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin on the ground, the Saints defense was yet again came up with big plays. Cam Jordan caused a fumble, recovered by Junior Galette. Malcolm Jenkins had a sweet interception and nice return.
The Saints were in control most of the game, from the start through a one hour rain delay and well into the 3rd quarter. All of that despite leaving points on the field thanks to a missed Garrett Hartley field goal and a failed 4th and 1 conversion on a Mark Ingram run. A costly Drew Brees interception and Mason Foster return for touchdown gave the Bucs a late 4th quarter lead.
Following a missed field goal by Ryan Lindell, the Saints got the ball back and one last chance to win the game with just over a minute left. Three straight completions later and Hartley was able to nail the 27-yard chip shot field goal for the win.
Here are the final stats from the game:
|Time of Pos.||32:36||27:24|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS|
|TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS|