The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense has been absolutely awful this game, and now the run defense is getting in on it too. Not that that matters with the way Drew Brees is throwing the ball. The Saints came back from a 21-7 deficit to score a ridiculous 28 unanswered points, making it 35-21 and seemingly putting the game out of reach.
Tampa Bay center Jeremy Zuttah got rolled up on by Doug Martin and had to leave the game, which he could do under his own power. Ted Larsen came in at center. Bucs still trail 35-21 in the fourth quarter.
That should have been the opportunity for the Bucs to tie up this game - yet they messed it up in horrible fashion. Three stuffed runs by Legarrette Blount and one awful bootleg later and the Saints have the ball back at their own four-yard line. Ew.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave the ball back to the Saints at the two-minute warning. Anyone want to guess what happened next? Yep, Saints go down the field and score a touchdown. The Bucs defense is getting slaughtered - they can't cover anyone, and the defensive line isn't doing much either.
Drew Brees has completed 20 of 25 passes for 313 yards, four touchdowns and one interception - and he's done so in a single half. That includes a spike, by the way. The Bucs offense has been okay - but it can't keep up with the New Orleans juggernaut playing a terrible defense. The Bucs need some half-time adjustments.
It's so bad, that Jimmy Graham's replacement David Thomas is getting in on the action. He scored the last touchdown on a terribly easy walk into the endzone. I don't know who was supposed to be covering him out of the eight people in coverage, but that basically describes every play at this point.
It's official: it's a shootout. It's now 21-21 after a 48-yard Joseph Morgan touchdown. 48 yards? 49 yards. The Bucs defense has been horrible in the secondary, with blown coverage after blown coverage. The fact that the defensive line isn't doing much certainly isn't helping, either.
But hey, when your receiver can just do...well....this, you're going to score:
The Bucs are dominant on offense, but so are the New Orleans Saints now. The Bucs have scored a touchdown on all of their first three offensive drives, punting on the fourth. The Saints have scored on two of their four drives - and that makes it 21-14 now.
The Bucs have had a ton of trouble stopping underneath routes from gaining yardage, and they've blown a few coverages for deep completions too. The back seven does not look good, and the front four isn't getting much pressure. This has the makings of a shootout!
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to dominate on offense as they h ave their third touchdown already at the start of the second quarter. Vincent Jackson got into the end zone while being dragged down - but the play stood after review. The Bucs lead 21-7 at home. Life is good.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were dominant early on, but the Saints are coming back! They ran down the field thanks to some questionable coverage by the Bucs. Colston is wide open underneath and can just stroll into the endzone as no one comes off his man to stop him. Oops. Bucs still lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Josh Freeman started off pretty good, going 3-for-3 and throwing a touchdown in his first couple of throws. But then Bad Josh Freeman made an appearance, as he seems to do every week for a couple of throws. Bad Josh Freeman was nearly picked off by Roman Harper, but the referees ruled it incomplete. He followed that up with another couple of bad throws.
So, was this an interception? The Saints challenged, but the play was upheld. You be the judge:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken an early lead over the New Orleans Saints. Ronde Barber picked off Drew Brees after Gerald McCoy tipped the ball. That was the safety's third interception this season, as Barber keeps improving at his new position. McCoy gets the assist there, as the defensive tackles continues to provide big plays.
Barber could have even scored on that play, but he got to the 13-yard line - going out of bounds instead of cutting back at the end of his return. But that gave Josh Freeman the chance to get off to a good start, hitting Tiquan Underwood on a drag route for a touchdown. Wide open receivers = easy touchdowns. So much for that improved Saints defense.