In a game that nearly all primetime analysts called in favor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New Orleans Saints obliterated their division rivals 38-3 in primetime last night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The game was never close, and the Saints came out firing out the gate to sweep the season series with the Bucs, take first place in the NFC South, and hand Tom Brady the largest loss of his career. Here are 4 “Ups” from the Saints statement victory.
Up: Drew Brees
In the battle of the aging all-time greats, Drew Brees came out supreme, by far. While Tom Brady had arguably one of the worst performances in his career, failing to throw a touchdown and throwing three interceptions, Brees had his best performance of the season. To hell with air yardage on throws, Brees completed 26 passes on 32 attempts, throwing for 222 yards and a season high four touchdowns with no interceptions. Last year’s reception leader Michael Thomas made his return for the Saints, but Drew still had a diverse set of wideouts on the receiving ends of his throws. Twelve players had receptions against the Bucs, with Tre’Quan Smith, Adam Trautman, Emmanuel Sanders and Josh Hill all scoring touchdowns. Brees also expanded his current NFL record for career touchdowns, as he now has 563 career TDs, and he’s not done just yet.
Up: Taysom Hill
Taysom Hill a.k.a. Mr. “What can’t he do?” had his versatility on full display against the Bucs. Hill led the Saints in rushing yards with 54 yards on seven carries, completed both his attempted passes for 48 yards in the air, and completed a pass for 21 yards. Taysom’s highlight was taking a snap at QB before breaking out the pocket and hurdling a defender on a 23 yard run in the second quarter. His ability to do anything the team needs to win, paired with Sean Payton’s play-calling had the Buccaneers scrambling for answers.
Up: Trey Hendrickson and the linemen
Trey Hendrickson and the linemen caused hell for Tom Brady all night long. Hendrickson finished with three tackles total including two of the Saints three sacks on the night, with the other sack came from Malcom Brown. The Saints pass rush managed to hit Tom Brady nine times, with four of the hits coming from David Onyemata. Onyemata had one pass deflection and an interception off a Marcus Davenport pass deflection in the second quarter which would result in a drive ending with Alvin Kamara finding the endzone.
Up: Demario Davis and the rest of the Saints defense
The Saints defense had their best performance all season, holding a Bucs offense with weapons such as Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown to just three points. Demario Davis had a pass deflection and five tackles, including a huge tackle in the 3rd quarter on 2nd goal when Jones II was stifled for no gain on a drive that would result in a turnover on downs. The Saints had eight pass deflections and the secondary accounted for two of the three interceptions with Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins both picking off Brady.
Once again Marshon Lattimore locked down Mike Evans every chance he got. Out of the 18 times Lattimore was covering Evans, Evans was targeted just twice and had 0 receptions. If only Lattimore played against every wideout the way he did against Evans. Regardless, the Saints defense was a well oiled machine and if they play the way they did against the Bucs, the NFC should be terrified.
Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel.