The New Orleans Saints marched into Tampa and proved why they are one of the best teams in football as they dominated the Bucs 34-17 to take a three game lead in the division with six games to play.
All you need to now about the game is that the Saints had a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, they had 144 yards of offense to six for the Bucs, and kept the ball over 12 minutes to the Buccaneers 2 minutes and change.
That was your ball game in a nutshell as the Bucs were never able to climb out of that hole and went on to lose to the Saints 34-17.
Drew Brees passed for 229 yards and three touchdowns and methodically picked apart the Young Bucs secondary.
In order to have a chance at winning the game the Bucs had to slow down wide receiver Michael Thomas who always seems to have a big game against the Bucs, and slow down Alvin Kamara.
The Bucs did neither in this game as Thomas caught eight passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, and Kamara ran for 75 yards and had another 47 yards receiving.
Jameis Winston was back to his old self throwing four interceptions to go with two touchdowns. Yet Bruce Arians continues to think Winston’s turnovers are all a result of receivers running wrong routes or just not making a good effort to catch the ball.
Talking about Winstons propensity for throwing interceptions Arians calculates that 10 of the 18 have been the fault of Winston. “I would say he has 10, you know? Guys dropping balls and giving them to the other team. How many have we seen? I don’t count those. Ten. He got hit low. The ankle, the last one flies out of his hand high. He probably should’ve come out of the game.”
Winston was hit low on his third interception and came up limping but went back out for the final drive, Winston will the ankle looked at tomorrow and we’ll see if Winston will miss any time.
Winston has 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions on the season and Arians eluded last week in his press conference that Winston will in Tampa for the foreseeable future.
With the early 20-0 deficit, the Bucs abandoned the running game as they only had eight attempts running the ball, while Winston put the ball in the air 51 times.
With Saints defensive back Marshon Lattimore out with an injury, everyone expected a big day from Mike Evans. Evans had a mediocre day catching four passes for 69 yards and dropped a pass where he was wide open.
Cameron Brate had his best game of the season catching 10 passes for 73 yards, and the rookie receiver Scotty Miller showed some promise as he had a breakout game with four catches for 71 yards.
Miller got behind the Saints secondary and Winston hit Miller for 49 yards on what would be one of his better throws of the game.
It was somewhat surprising that last weeks best player Jamel Dean did not register a tackle today, as the Bucs opted to go with Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy Bunting at cornerback, and Mike Edwards in the slot the majority of the game.
Arians said that Dean needs to be in there and they would work to make sure he is on the field more.
“We played a lot more zone and Dean was more in the man-to-man group.” Arians said. “We’ll fix that. He needs to be out there on the field.”
Linebacker Devin White had another monster game with 13 tackles and kicker Matt Gay hit a 55 yard field goal which cut the
lead to 27-10 at the time.
The Bucs are 3-7 and looking at another last place finish in the NFC South.
The Bucs will be in Atlanta next week to take on a suddenly hot Falcons team who have won two in a row and beat Carolina on the road today 29-3.