The New Orleans Saints came to play. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not. And the Saints walked into Raymond James Stadium and in the words of Bruce Arians “kicked the Bucs ass” 38-3.
There is no way to sugarcoat this. No way to rationalize what happened. This was an epic fail on all fronts.
The worst game I have ever seen the Bucs play.
The offense and defense were both a huge disappointment and contributing factors to the loss.
The Bucs had a chance to make a statement on a national stage and once again impressed no one.
What is it about the Bucs and primetime games? The Bucs lost on Thursday night to Chicago 20-19. They barely escaped the New York Giants 25-23. Then this debacle on Sunday Night against the Saints 38-3.
The Buccaneer started the game with five straight three and outs.
Drew Brees and the Saints looked sharp from the first drive, and you got a feeling it might be one of those nights for the Bucs.
The Bucs did not get their first first down of the game until there were less than 12 minutes to play in the first half.
This was Tom Bradys worst game in his NFL career.
Brady had zero touchdowns passes, three interceptions, a QB rating of 40.4, and lost by 35 points, the largest margin of defeat for Tom Brady.
The Bucs had 194 yards of offense in the game but had just eight yards rushing on four carries.
The Bucs looked out of sync on both sides of the ball. It looked at times as if this was their first game playing together.
Offensive linemen Ali Marpet missed the game with a concussion, and the left side of the line with Joe Haeg and DonavanSmith struggled all night.
Brady was sacked three times and was under constant pressure throughout the game.
It has been a while since both the defensive line and the offensive were physically whipped. The Saints defensive line has a reputation
for playing physical, and they backed that up against the Bucs.
The Bucs ran the ball four times. It was almost as if Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette didn’t even suit up.
The front seven of the Buccaneers put zero pressure on Brees in the first half as the Saints built a 31-0 lead. There was a moment in the third quarter where the Bucs got a bit of pressure on Brees and caused a fumble, but the Bucs offense was not able to convert.
Bruce Arians and the coaching staff did not have this team ready to play. The play calling by offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was pathetic.
There was no imagination in the play calling. Mike Evans was again a non-factor in the passing game as Brady went to Antonio Brown too often and missed him badly on several attempts.
Evans led the Bucs with four catches, but a future Hall of Famer like Evans needs to play a bigger role in the offense.
Todd Bowles and the defense played zone all night, and Drew Brees stood back and just picked them apart.
The Saints were up 31-0 at the half and had the ball with one minute to go in the first half. Instead of running a couple of plays, the Saints took a knee twice which couldn’t have sat well with the defense.
The Bucs are now 6-3 and have put themselves in a tough spot in trying to win the division. The Saints have a half-game lead at 6-2, and the tiebreaker after beating the Bucs twice this season.
The Bucs will have to put this behind them quickly as they have another division opponent this week at Carolina.
The Bucs have a lot to fix on both sides of the ball before their next game.