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We certainly didn’t see the offensive explosion some were expecting in this matchup, but Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints won their grudge match against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 34-23. Brady struggled in his Bucs debut, as he completed 23 of 36 passes for 239 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for another touchdown. Brees didn’t play his best game either, as he completed 18 of 30 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
The Saints managed just four plays on their opening drive before they were forced to punt, while Brady led an impressive first drive with his new team. He orchestrated a nine-play, 85-yard drive which was capped by a bold, two-yard quarterback sneak that resulted in the first points of the game. After that first possession, however, it was all Saints. New Orleans went on a 24-0 run that was fueled by two straight Alvin Kamara touchdowns. The Saints weren’t perfect by any means, but they are now 1-0 — and more importantly — 1-0 in the division.
Defense. It’s hard to tell whether it was Brady’s unfamiliarity with the offense or the fact that New Orleans stepped up to the challenge, but holding Brady and the Bucs to just 23 points was certainly impressive. Last year, the Buccaneers averaged 28.6 points per game while the New England Patriots averaged 26.3 points per game — so this performance was below average in several different ways. Despite Brady having offensive weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and a host of talented running backs, New Orleans did a great job at trying to take away Brady’s love of screens while also patrolling the deep middle of the field. The Saints offense wasn’t incredible on Sunday, so it was good to see the defense step up in their absence.
The Buccaneers offense was not as sexy as we thought it would be in the season opener. Maybe it’s time we revisit this Brady to the Bucs hype again. Despite being arguably the best player of all time, there are going to be some growing pains when undergoing your first-ever change of scenery complete with a new head coach, new offensive weapons, a new system and a lack of a preseason due to a pandemic. Brady threw two interceptions on Sunday — which is notable because he didn’t throw more than one pick in any regular-season game last season. While Brady has more work to do with his new teammates, the same goes for Bruce Arians and his offensive strategy. Ronald Jones rushed for 66 yards while averaging less than four yards per carry and Leonard Fournette rushed just five times for a total of five yards. LeSean McCoy caught just one pass and Evans hauled in only one of his four targets. Chris Godwin was probably the only Bucs star who came close to expectations, as he caught six passes for 79 yards. There’s no need to panic just yet, but the Buccaneers offense underperformed in Week 1.
After Emmanuel Sanders scored his first touchdown as a Saint while being grabbed by the facemask, the Saints were allowed to kick from the 50-yard line. Thomas Morstead delivered this little pooch kick that completely confused the Buccaneers, and was eventually recovered by the Saints.
Not only was it an embarrassing gaffe, but it gave the Saints possession with incredible field position in the fourth quarter. New Orleans wasn’t able to capitalize with a touchdown, but the Saints did score a field goal to push the lead to 17 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Back in his days with the Patriots, this maybe wouldn’t seem like an insurmountable lead for Brady, but with how he was playing in his Buccaneers debut, the game definitely appeared to be over.
The Buccaneers got the ball to begin the second half, and were facing a 10-point deficit. This seemed like a great time for Brady to regroup with his new team and begin the comeback so many were expecting. Instead, a pass intended for wide receiver Justin Watson was picked off by Janoris Jenkins and taken 36-yards the other way for a touchdown.
Not only did this increase the lead to 17 points, but it was just so unexpected that it caught everyone by surprise. Jenkins came from out of view full speed and cut off the pass. In the blink of an eye, the Saints had increased their lead and kept up the momentum they had created in the first half.
The Saints will look to move to 2-0 next week on « Monday Night Football » as they travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders. Jon Gruden and Co. are coming off of a 34-30 win against the Carolina Panthers. As for the Buccaneers, Brady will play his first home game in Tampa Bay against the aforementioned Panthers.
Watch Live: Saints postgame show after a 34-23 win over Tampa! ⚜️#SaintsGameday | @MercedesBenzUSA https://t.co/hfNMNQYu4P
That was an eye-opening game. It certainly appears Tom Brady has some work to do with his new team while the Saints are still atop the division. Thanks for joining us! Make sure to check back as this piece will be turned into a takeaways article.
I guess Kamara stepped out short. Saints could go for a safety here if they really wanted to.
12 carries for 17 yards and two TDs along to go with five receptions for 51 yards and another TD for Alvin Kamara.
Great catch by Mike Evans and that will go down as his first catch of the game. If you are in a PPR league, that’s seven points on one play.
Swearinger tried his best to not draw a flag, but he did. Led with the shoulder and everything. I guess you are supposed to wait and let the WR know you are there before you touch him.
Scotty Miller again. He’s going to be your next Wes Welker/Edelman. Now has five catches for 73 yards.
Bennie Fowler III and Margus Hunt were signed to the active roster yesterday Today: Fowler: Fumble Recovery Hunt: Blocked Kick
It’s funny because a 17-point deficit with eight minutes remaining wouldn’t seem insurmountable during Brady’s days with the New England Patriots, but it certainly feels like too much today.
Kick is good! 🙌Lutz boots a 21-yd FG to bump the #Saints lead to 34-17 with 8:01 left in the game ⚜️ pic.twitter.com/hg3uad6HED
🙌 @ESanders_10 🙌First catch as a Saint goes for a touchdown ⚜️#Saints | 📺: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/pNKx7XfxeD
Emmanuel Sanders scores his first TD as a Saint and he was grabbed by the facemask. That drive was great only because the Saints finally looked downfield after two three-and-outs.
Cook with another huge gain. He has five receptions for 80 yards. It took some time for Brees to finally look downfield again.
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New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady, NFL, Drew Brees
Actu monde – GB – Saints vs. Buccaneers score, key takeaways: New Orleans spoils Tom Brady’s Buccaneers debut