The New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11 by a score of 34-17. As a result, the Bucs fall to 3-7 on the season while the Saints improve to 8-2 sitting atop the NFC South.
Last week, we took a peek inside of the Cardinals fan experience as they fell to Tampa Bay in Week 10. This week, we’ll take another glimpse at the opposing fan base, only they’re a bit happier this time.
WARNING: CONTENT MAY BE NSFW
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SAINTS START MARCHING
New Orleans started the game with the ball, and spent more than six minutes driving down to the Tampa Bay 26-yard line before settling for a 44-yard Will Lutz field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
BUCS BEND, BUT DON’T BREAK
Kickers get no love unless they’re hitting game winning field goals. In this case, Lutz’s second kick of the day gave the Saints a 6-0 lead following a second-straight drive spanning more than six minutes in the first quarter. Bucs fans were happy to be down just six after all of it, Saints fans were not pleased.
THE JUICE WITHOUT THE SQUEEZE
Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard has a resurgent performance against the Arizona Cardinals. After taking two steps forward, the third-year tight end took at least three steps back.
Howard was the target of a Jameis Winston pass just two plays into their possession following the Saints’ latest field goal producing drive. What happened as the ball arrived to the tight end can only be described as something out of a Harlem Globetrotters bit. And the Saints’ DeMario Davis ultimately ended up with the ball in his hands.
BIG TEN DUO CAPITALIZE ON SEC MISTAKE
Michael Thomas made good on the gift Howard gave his defense, scoring from 16-yards out on a pass from quarterback Drew Brees on the very next play.
The score gave New Orleans a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, and placed them firmly in the driver’s seat of this divisional match-up.
TIRED DEFENSE IS A VULNERABLE DEFENSE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense spent thirteen minutes and nineteen seconds out of a possible fifteen minutes on the field in the first quarter. Starting the second quarter, the Bucs’ offense was able to spell them for a little over three minutes, but a tired defense took the field hoping to keep the Saints from taking a seemingly insurmountable lead early in the second quarter.
It didn’t work, and tight end Jared Cook set his team up to take a 20-0 lead after his three-yard jump ball touchdown catch.
BUCS LAND A JAB
At risk of seeing the wheels completely fall off their Week 11 efforts before reaching halftime, Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers offense came up with a crucial touchdown score to come back to within two scores.
Aided by a 48-yard bomb from Winston to rookie Scotty Miller, the Bucs got all the way down to the New Orleans one-yard line before ultimately scoring from the six as Peyton Barber found room in the middle of the Saints defense for their first score of the game.
Following their first touchdown of the game, the Bucs defense rewarded the offense by forcing a three and out, and getting the ball back for their offense.
With 1:38 left in the first half and all three timeouts, Winston was looking to strike big by drawing closer to their divisional opponent, knowing they’d be getting the ball back to start the second half.
A 5-yard defensive holding penalty kept Tampa Bay’s drive alive after a third down sack, but a 10-yard holding call against Alex Cappa from the Saints’ 36-yard line forced the Bucs out of field goal range.
Ultimately, the offense was forced to rush a third down play from the 43-yard line, which was a pass intended for Chris Godwin. The pass was intercepted by Vonn Bell, and it was his first interception of the safety’s career.
A FOUR POINT SWING
Despite failing to put up points at the end of the first half, the Buccaneers were able to put three more on the board off the leg of rookie, Matt Gay. The score capped off a ten play drive which took nearly four minutes off the clock.
His 55-yard field goal made the score 20-10, and the Saints responded with their own ten play drive which ate nearly six minutes, and ended in the end zone. Because the game didn’t have enough of an Ohio State influence, it was Ted Ginn Jr. who brought in the scoring pass.
MAKING A STAND
After Brees took his offense into the end zone, Winston answered back. This time it was an eight play drive, covering 75-yards, ending with a 30-yard catch and run from wide receiver Chris Godwin.
The Saints, and their fans, new that the game was far from over as the Bucs drew to within ten.
IT’S A BUCS LIFE
What was once a team motto has become the cry of the frustrated Buccaneers fan. Tampa Bay’s defense forced the Saints into two punts on back-to-back drives. After the first one, Winston and Co. were unable to gain any ground.
On the second, disaster struck as Winston and star wide receiver Mike Evans miscommunicated terribly on a pass design. The ball sailed into the hands of defensive back Marcus Williams who then ran it back 55-yards for New Orleans’ final score of the game.
ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD (TEAM)
Down by seventeen after scoring seventeen, there was little hope the Buccaneers would pull off a victory. Despite all of that, a hobbled Jameis Winston led his offense back onto the field with just over five minutes left in the game, determined to salvage something from a frustrating day on the field.
The drive started with a 20-yard completion to Breshad Perriman, and five plays later, the Bucs sat on the Saints’ one-yard line thanks to a 27-yard completion to Mike Evans.
In a rush, trying to score without burning clock, the Buccaneers ran two straight plays with Dare Ogunbowale who failed to find the end zone on either try.
On third down, Winston came out in a shotgun set with leading receiver Cameron Brate lined up in the backfield to his left. As Brate shifted into motion, Winston received what appeared to be an early snap from center Ryan Jensen.
As a result, Winston was forced to improvised and tossed a poorly gripped jump ball towards Evans, which was brought down by cornerback P.J. Williams.
It was Winston’s fourth interception of the game. And it was the final offensive play the Buccaneers offense would run in Week 11.
With the game in hand, some thoughts about their conquered opponents started coming to light as Saints fans awaited the arrival of the game clock to it’s final ending.
….it wasn’t all bad though. There are positives in every game, even if they’re hard to find. Saints fans might help shed some light on a couple positives for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad....
Not a good look for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints this weekend. With Marshon Lattimore out, the Buccaneers offense found a way to do worse than they did in their first meeting, another loss in Week 5.
This loss marks the first time either team has swept the other since the 2014 season, and it’s the first time Winston himself has been swept by this divisional rival.
No time to lick their wounds however, as a trip to Atlanta to face the Falcons and former head coach Dirk Koetter, is just seven days away.