In their first meeting of the season, the New Orleans Saints (5-2) were welcoming the leaders of the NFC South in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) in the Caesars Superdome, led by the immortal quarterback Tom Brady armed with his pact with the Devil. The game would start ominously, as Tampa forced a turnover on downs and used a short field to take a quick 7-0 lead over the Saints early in the first quarter.
The Saints would respond, with Jameis Winston finding Tre’Quan Smith for a touchdown to tie the game at seven. Things would look bleak for the Saints quickly however, as early in the second quarter, Saints’ quarterback Jameis Winston would get hurt on a horse collar tackle by former LSU linebacker Devin White. Winston would leave the game and make way for Trevor Siemian, who would lead the Saints the rest of the way,
New Orleans would then turn to its defense, as it has done all year. It started with a strip sack of Brady that led to a field goal and a 10-7 lead. An interception by cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson would then lead to a touchdown for the Saints and a 16-7 halftime lead, after a missed extra point.
In the second half, the Saints would come out on fire and score another touchdown immediately, going up 23-7. The Bucs would then respond and score the next 14 points on two touchdowns to make the score 23-21 in favor of New Orleans. After another field goal for the Saints, the Bucs would tack on their third touchdown on the half, yet failing to make the two-point conversion and nursing a slim 27-26 lead over the Saints.
Siemian would then engineer a nice drive that Sean Payton would botch time management-wise, kicking a field goal to take a 29-27 lead with 1:44 left on the clock and one timeout for Brady and the Bucs. Fortunately for New Orleans, the defense would once again step up as P.J. Williams would intercept Tom Brady and return the pick to the end zone to give the Saints a 36-27 lead after the extra point, which would be the final score of the game.
The Saints improve to 5-2, now only a half-game behind the 6-2 Bucs. New Orleans gets a huge division and conference win as the quest for the playoffs and a fifth straight NFC South crown continues.
Below is a live quarter-by-quarter description of how the game unfolded:
Bucs open the game with the ball. Tampa goes three-and-out on an incomplete pass from Brady to Godwin.
Saints take over at their 14-yard line and open with a completed pass to Alvin Kamara. On 3rd-and-9, Winston runs for 21 yards for a first down. Saints face a 4th-and-1 at their 44-yard line and Alvin Kamara is stopped short, the first big play of the game.
Bucs take over at the Saints’ 44-yard line. On third-and-6, and Brady finds Chris Godwin for 21 yards and a first down. Bucs get inside the red zone and Brady finds Godwin for a touchdown.
TB: 7 - NO: 0
Saints take over at their 25-yard line. Saints use Mark Ingram on a screen play for 17 yards into Bucs’ territory. Welcome back to NOLA, Mark.
Winston uses his legs to prolong the Saints’ drive to the Bucs’ 35-yard line. Two plays later, Winston once again uses his legs for a first down to the Bucs’ 19-yard line. Winston then finds Tre’Quan Smith for a touchdown, Smith’s first touchdown of the season.
TB: 7 - NO: 7
Bucs take over at their 25-yard line. Tampa gets near midfield using a mix of run and pass and face a third-and-3 as the quarter ends.
Bucs convert into Saints’ territory at the 49-yard line. Bucs eventually fail to convert at the Saints’ 41-yard line and punt.
Saints take over at their 8-yard line. On the second play, Winston is tackled by the horse collar and hurts his left leg as it bent awkwardly. Trevor Siemian takes over at quarterback for the Saints. Siemian fails to convert on third down and the Saints have to punt.
Bucs take over at their 20-yard line and move the ball, and Brady finds Tyler Johnson for 31 yards into Saints territory. On the next play, Saints pressure Brady into a fumble and the newly-returned David Onyemata recovers the fumble for New Orleans.
Saints take over at their 34-yard line. Siemian finds Deonte Harris into Bucs territory. Siemian finds tight end Garrett Griffin for a first down to the Bucs’ 24-yard line. Siemian throws an interception into the end zone, but a personal foul on the Bucs keeps the drive alive as the Saints get to the Bucs’ five-yard line. Saints attempt a screen play at the five yard line and can’t convert. Brian Johnson converts a 23-yard attempt.
TB: 7 - NO: 10
Bucs start at their 25-yard line and Giovani Bernard runs for 24 yards at the two-minute warning. On the very next play, C.J. Gardner-Johnson intercepts Brady and returns it to the Bucs’ 35-yard line.
Mark Ingram runs for 10 yards on the first play of the Saints drive. Siemian then finds Tre’Quan Smith for a first down to the Bucs’ 9-yard line. Siemian finds fullback Alex Armah Jr. for a touchdown. Brian Johnson misses the extra point.
TB: 7 - NO: 16
Bucs take over at their 25-yard line, run and running play and let the clock expire.
Saints begin the half with a shot play to Kevin White to the Bucs’ 38-yard line. Saints stall at the Bucs’ 32-yard line and go for it on 4th-and-4, and Siemian finds Deonte Harris for a first down at the 25-yard line. Kamara then runs for a first down to the Bucs’ 10-yard line. Tre’Quan Smith catches a pass to the one-yard line and the Saints go for it on fourth down. On fourth down, Alvin Kamara strolls into the end zone for a touchdown.
TB: 7 - NO: 23
Bucs take over at their 25-yard line. Tampa moves the ball near midfield, then Brady finds Chris Godwin for a long catch-and-run into the Saints’ red zone. Bucs face a 3rd-and-5 at the Saints’ 7-yard line and Brady finds Giovani Bernard for a touchdown.
TB: 14 - NO: 23
Deonte Harris returns the kickoff to the Saints’ 28-yard line. Siemian gets sacked on the first play. Saints go three-and-out and have to punt.
Bucs return the punt to their 31-yard line. Brady finds Godwin for a first down into Saints’ territory, as Godwin is getting the better of C.J. Gardner-Johnson in this game. Brady finds Mike Evans for a touchdown as the Bucs have come back nearly all the way in this game.
TB: 21 - NO: 23
Saints take over at their 25-yard line and immediately face a 3rd-and-6. Saints go three-and-out again and punt yet again.
Bucs return the punt to their 19-yard line and face a third-and-one as the quarter ends.
Bucs convert and get a first down. Tampa faces a 3rd-and-14 from its 30-yard line and stall, as Saints get the ball back after a punt, Deonte Harris returns to the Saints’ 34-yard line. Saints gain 5 yards and an offside penalty on the Bucs keeps the drive alive. A personal foul taunting penalty on Devin White moves the ball to the Bucs’ 35- yard line. A first down throw to Deonte Harris moves the Saints at the edge of the red zone. Siemian misses a wide open Deonte Harris on third down and Brian Johnson makes a 35-yard field goal.
TB: 21 - NO: 26
Bucs take over at their 25-yard line, Tampa moves the ball to midfield. From midfield, Saints completely blow a coverage on a blitz and Brady finds Cyril Grayson for a touchdown, only his second-career catch. Tampa misses the two-point conversion, but Bucs retake the lead for the first time since they led 7-0 in the first quarter.
TB: 27 - NO: 26
Saints take over at their 25-yard line and face a third-and-4 and Siemian finds Marquez Callaway for a first down. The Saints then run a reverse play with Deonte Harris to the Bucs’ 40-yard line. A holding penalty on the Bucs keep the Saints’ drive alive. Siemian finds Callaway in the middle of the field for a first down at the Bucs’ 9-yard line. Saints throw two passes and can’t complete either. New Orleans stalls and opts to kick a field goal with 1:44 on the clock. Brian Johnson makes a 23-yard field goal attempt.
TB: 27 - NO: 29
Bucs take over at their 25-yard line. On the second play of the drive, P.J. Williams picks Brady off for a pick six!!!
TB: 27 - NO: 36
Bucs return the punt to their 20-yard line and Saints sack Brady on the first play of the drive. Bucs face a 4th-and-8 from their own 21-yard line. Brady is sacked on fourth down to seal the game.
Saints Win! Saints Win!
Who was the Saints’ MVP in today’s win vs. Tampa?
This poll is closed
P.J. Williams, who sealed the win with his pick-six!
The entire defense, who had to win the game yet again.
Dennis Allen, who continues to lead a great defensive unit.
Trevor Siemian, who didn’t completely stink while replacing Jameis.
The Big Mac is the real MVP, c’mon man!
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