With first place in the NFC South on the line under the Sunday Night Football lights at Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers simply didn’t show up. The offense’s first half consisted of four three-and-outs, two interceptions and a turnover on downs, while the defense had no answer for the Saints’ potent offense. It was 31-0 New Orleans at halftime, and the visitors went on to win 38-3 to take the top spot in the division.
If you’re a Bucs fan, you won’t enjoy many of these highlights. But if you enjoy reliving pain, let’s dive right in...
The Saints strike first after Jason Pierre-Paul drops an INT
On the Saints’ first drive of the night, they drove deep into Buccaneer territory and threatened to score quickly. But when Drew Brees got a favorable matchup on the outside with Jason Pierre-Paul covering Alvin Kamara, it was Tampa Bay that nearly had a big momentum-changing play. Brees threw short of Kamara and Pierre-Paul had what looked to be a sure interception, only he dropped it. On the next play, Brees threw a 14-yard touchdown to a wide open Tre’Quan Smith to put New Orleans on top early.
Tampa Bay’s defense tries to provide a spark
After the Tampa Bay offense continued to look lifeless with a second straight three-and-out to start the game, New Orleans threatened to make it a 14-0 game EARLY. Luckily for the home team, Jordan Whitehead stepped up to make a big play, knocking the ball loose at the 2-yard line. Lavonte David recovered it, giving the ball back to the Bucs and keeping the game at 7-0 for the time being.
Brees connects with his ninth different receiver of the night for a second touchdown
Tom Brady and the Buccaneer offense didn’t do anything to take advantage of the turnover, leading to a short punt by Bradley Pinion that set the Saints up in plus-territory at the 35-yard line. Just five plays later, Brees hit Adam Trautman—his ninth different receiver of the game—for a touchdown to put the visitors up 14-0.
The rout is on as Brees connects with an 11th different receiver in the game’s first 20 minutes
After a fourth straight three-and-out for the Tampa Bay offense, the Saints made it a 21-0 game with a five-play, 50-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Emmanuel Sanders.
Things go from bad to worse for the Buccaneer offense
Already down 21-0 and struggling to move the ball at all, the Tampa Bay offense got even harder luck on its next drive. A tipped Brady pass ended up in the hands of David Onyemata at the 27-yard line, giving New Orleans excellent field position once again.
With a short field, the Saints make it a 28-0 first-half lead
Another five-play drive for the New Orleans offense ended with Kamara punching it in from one yard out. Wil Lutz’s PAT made it 28-0 not even halfway through the second quarter.
A Tampa Bay highlight! Antonio Brown makes his first catch as a Buccaneer
Antonio Brown’s first catch as a member of the Bucs picked up a first down, one of the few for the home team in the first half.
Antonio Brown has his first catch since September 15th, 2019.— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) November 9, 2020
A year later he catches his first pass as a Buccaneer, on a different team, from the same QB. Sports are wild. #GoBucs pic.twitter.com/AMRjEhUqEn
Tampa Bay’s defense gets its second turnover of the night
On the opening drive of the second half, the Bucs defense looked to grab some momentum. Shaquil Barrett got to Brees for a sack-fumble, with Mike Edwards scooping it up to set the offense up with good field position. Tampa Bay then drove to the New Orleans’ goal line, but missed on four straight plays to keep the disappointment going.
Brady throws his third interception of the game
Down 31-0 late in the third quarter, the Bucs still had Brady in the game for some reason. His offensive line, namely Donovan Smith, let him down massively and got him sacked on back-to-back plays before a fourth-down try. Pressured again, Brady had to roll to his right and ended up throwing off his back foot across the field for his third interception of the game.
The Saints extend the lead with Brees’ fourth score of the night
After a scoreless third quarter for both teams, the Saints added to their lead with just over nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. Brees found Josh Hill from three yards out to make it a 38-0 game.
The Bucs get on the board with the saddest field goal attempt imaginable
Not wanting to get shut out, the Bucs sent Ryan Succop out for a 48-yard field goal attempt in a 38-point game. He nailed it, getting the team its only points of the night.
Jameis Winston enters the game for New Orleans
Honestly, this probably riled some Bucs fans up, but it was still cool to see Jameis Winston get his first snaps for the Saints. He entered the game late and helped New Orleans run the clock down. He completed his only pass attempt for a 12-yard gain. Now let’s just hope he takes this year of experience with Brees and Sean Payton and uses it elsewhere going forward, shall we?
Standing on the corner, Jameis Winston, Tampa Florida, such a fine sight to see! pic.twitter.com/dSuxse5z3K— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 9, 2020
After some kneel-downs by Winston and one from Blaine Gabbert, the game mercifully came to an end with the Saints emerging victorious by a score of 38-3.