On the back of their astonishing 27-26 come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons in week one, the New Orleans Saints (1-0) were back in action today in their 2022 NFL season home-opener. The opponents: none other than the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0), whom the Saints have owned in the regular season since Brady arrived in Tampa. Brady and the Bucs are 0-4 against the Saints in the regular season since the former Patriots quarterback became a Buccaneer. For the Saints, this was a chance to start 2-0 and assert themselves in the NFC South, while the Bucs could claim the same record and take the division lead with a road-win at the Superdome.
In the first half, the game would see both defenses flex their muscles, as the Saints could only muster a field goal, while Brady and the Bucs were shut out. New Orleans led 3-0, having harassed Brady as has been the custom for Dennis Allen defenses the past couple of years.
The second half will see the Saints’ offense make a bevy of mistakes to hand the Bucs the lead. With the game tied at 3 after a Bucs’ field goal, Mark Ingram would fumble at the Bucs’ 10-yard line when the Saints were driving to take the lead. Then Jameis Winston would throw an interception in the end zone on a deep throw to Chris Olave. Winston would be at it again, throwing an all-advised pick while trying to hit Juwan Johnson on an out route.
Meanwhile, the Bucs would finally break the deadlock, with Brady Brashaud Perriman to give Tampa Bay a 10-3 lead. On Winston’s second interception, the Bucs would add a field goal to take a 13-3 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Trying desperately to tie the game, Winston would then throw a pick-six, his third interception of the game, another telegraphed throw towards Jarvis Landry that Mike Edwards returned to the house to give Tampa a 20-3 lead.
The Saints would mount a response, with Jameis Winston finding Michael Thomas for a touchdown to make the score 20-10. After a punt by the Bucs, Winston would finally connect deep with rookie wide receiver Chris Olave, but while stumbling untouched to the ground, Olave would fumble, giving the ball back to the Bucs in Tampa’s territory, and recording New Orleans’ fifth turnover of the day.
That would seal the deal, as the Bucs would bleed the clock and force the Saints to take their timeouts, and win the game 20-10.
The Saints have a lot of work to do on offense, as the defense played admirably. But five turnovers will simply not cut it against a team as good as Tampa Bay.
Here is a quarter-by-quarter recap of the game:
- Saints begin on offense, after the Bucs defer their coin toss win to the second half. Saints run the ball effectively with Mark Ingram. Jameis Winston finds Michael Thomas for a first down in Bucs territory. Taysom Hill runs into the red zone. Saints eventually stall and Wil Lutz converts a 31-yard attempt.
- NO: 3 - TB: 0
- Bucs begin at their 25-yard line. On 3rd-and-9, Brady finds Scottie Miller for a first down near midfield. Brady finds Mike Evans to the Saints’ 35-yard line. Brady fumbles the ball on the snap and Demario Davis of the Saints recovers the ball.
- Saints start at their 25-yard line. On 3rd down, Winston is sacked but a personal foul on the Bucs keeps the Saints’ drive alive. Saints eventually stall again near midfield and punt.
- Bucs start at their 23-yard line and face a short third down as the quarter ends.
- Brady finds Mike Evans for a big gain to the Saints’ 30-yard line. A run by Leonard Fournette takes Tampa into the Saints’ red zone. Bucs go for it on 4th-and-1 and the Saints stop the Bucs short and regain possession.
- Saints take over at their 9-yard line. Saints go three-and-out after missing on a deep throw to Chris Olave.
- Bucs start at midfield but can convert on third down. Bucs punt for the first time.
- Saints start at their 7-yard line. On 3rd-and-10, Winston finds Michael Thomas for a first down. Winston misses Olave on a deep shot, on third down Winston fumbles but the Saints recover and punt.
- Bucs start at their 13-yard line. On third-and-9, Brady throws an incompletion and the Bucs punt.
- Saints take over at their 31-yard line and drive to the Bucs’ 39-yard line, but Winston is sacked by Antoine Winfield Jr. and Saints punt.
- Bucs kneel to end the half, with the Saints leading 3-0.
- Saints kickoff and Bucs begin at their 25-yard line. Bucs eventually stall and have to punt.
- Saints start at their 16-yard line and go three-and-out.
- Bucs start at their 43-yard line and drive into Saints’ territory. Tampa stall at the Saints’ 29-yard line and Ryan Succop makes a 47-yard field goal.
- NO: 3 - TB: 3
- Saints take over at their 25-yard line, in search of some offense. Saints use a combination of pass and run to get into Tampa Bay territory. Saints use Dwayne Washington on the groun to get into the Bucs’ red zone. Mark Ingram rushes to the Bucs’ 10-yard line and fumbles, the Bucs recover.
- Bucs take over at their 10-yard line and face a third-and-1 as the quarter ends.
- Saints stop the Bucs on third down and Tampa has to punt, but a penalty on the Saints keep the Bucs with possession. Tampa Bay eventually stalls.
- Saints take over at their 45-yard line. Jameis Winston heaves a long pass to Chris Olave that is slightly behind Olave and Jamel Dean picks it off in the end zone for a touchback.
- Bucs take over at their 20-yard line. A personal foul on Bradley Roby gives the Bucs the ball at the Saints’ 40-yard line. Another penalty puts the Bucs in field goal range. Tom Brady finds Brashaud Perriman for a touchdown.
- NO: 3 - TB: 10
- Saints return the kickoff to their 33-yard line and Winston is sacked on first down. On second down, Winston is picked off again by Jamel Dean on a long throw.
- Bucs take over at the Saints’ 30-yard line, stall and add a field goal.
- NO: 3 - TB: 13
- Saints return the kickoff to their 30-yard line and drive into Bucs’ territory. Mike Edwards picks off Winston, his third pick of the game, and returns it for a touchdown.
- NO: 3 - TB: 20
- Saints take over at their 25-yard line and drive into Bucs’ territory. Winston finds Michael Thomas for a touchdown (Thomas’ third of the season) with 3:02 left in the game.
- NO: 10 - TB: 20
- Saints on-side kick, but Tampa Bay recovers, Bucs take over at the Saints’ 42-yard line. Tampa goes three-and-out and punts.
- Winston finds Chris Olave into Bucs’ territory, but Olave fumbles the ball while falling down without being touched. Tampa Bay recovers the ball. This was the Saints’ fifth turnover of the game.
- Bucs take over at their 34-yard line and run the ball to drain the clock.
- Saints take over at their 23-yard line. On second down, Winston is sacked by Shaq Barrett and the Bucs salt away the game.
- Bucs win 20-10.
Who is to blame for this Saints’ loss to the Bucs?
This poll is closed
Mark Ingram: his fumble started the jinx!
Marshon Lattimore, who can’t keep his head.
Jameis Winston, who was back throwing picks!
Pete Carmichael, whose offense has been putrid through two games