Saints play, fall at home to Bucs – Crescent City Sports


Without running back Alvin Kamara, the New Orleans Saints entered Sunday’s NFC South game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, missing their best offensive player.

Of course, the visiting Bucs got stoned too.

New Orleans had beaten Tampa Bay seven straight in the regular season and seven of the last eight times overall.

After playing him close to the vest and protecting the ball for three quarters, Saints quarterback Jameis Winston returned to the player many Tampa Bay faithful remember with less fondness. In the fourth quarter, he threw three interceptions, including a pick of six. When Winston made a nice through pass for the first time all afternoon, Chris Olave lost a fumble after the catch.

In all, the Saints committed five turnovers. The brutal number led to the expected result.

The self-inflicted injuries were far too many to overcome against a good team. The Saints have caught up with the Bucs without several key players. Playing at home, New Orleans could not take advantage.

In addition to turnovers, the Saints were penalized 101 yards on eight penalties. With so many errors, it was unbelievable that the Saints lost by just 10 points. Give credit to the New Orleans defense, which played well enough to win.

Here are my quick takes from the 20-10 loss to Tampa Bay at Caesars Superdome:

**With the LSU band in attendance, Jarvis Landry and Tyrann Mathieu led the “Who Dat” chant during the pre-game ritual.

**New Orleans took the opening kickoff and went for 63 yards in 11 games, falling 5:58 behind with Wil Lutz converting a 31-yard field goal to give the Saints a 3-0 lead with 9:02 to go in the quarter. The Saints rushed for 36 yards and passed for 27 on the drive.

** Tampa Bay drove smart from their own 25 to New Orleans 25 on their first possession, largely on the arm of Tom Brady but on a third and less than a yard, Brady fumbled the center snap and Demario Davis jumped on it for a huge turnover.

**The Bucs had a big play was a 41-yard pass from Brady to Mike Evans, who beckoned on the play and got a great game with Justin Evans, who opened wide.

** Tampa Bay reached the New Orleans eight-yard line and opted to go fourth-and-one and Leonard Fournette was stuffed by Kentavius ​​Street and Carl Granderson for a one-yard loss.

** The Saints couldn’t do anything with a short pitch in their final half-time training, despite a huge break on a personal foul against Lavonte David.

** Tampa Bay finished the half with 127 yards while New Orleans had 121.

**Tackle Josh Wells suffered a calf injury in the first half, leaving Tampa Bay’s already injury-plagued offensive line even thinner. Brandon Walton replaced him.

**Former Saint Akiem Hicks is also injured and has not returned.

** Tampa Bay again got short ground midway through the third quarter and this time used it to tie the game, going for 28 yards on nine plays with Ryan Succop scoring a 47-yard field goal to make it 3 -3.

** This ended a 21-game possession streak for the Bucs against the Saints without scoring, dating back to last season.

** New Orleans then put on an impressive drive of their 25 at the Tampa Bay 10-yard line, but for the second week in a row, Mark Ingram lost a fumble when stripped by Logan Ryan with Carl Nassib recovering.

** The Saints got a big save on a third-and-one at Tampa Bay 19 but on fourth down, New Orleans committed an inexcusable 12-man penalty on the ground, breathing new life into the Bucs.

** Then the Saints got another save, Marshon Lattimore said something to Tom Brady, who was complaining about what he thought was pass interference, Leonard Fournette pushed Lattimore, Lattimore answered, then Mike Evans fired a cheap shot at Lattimore from behind.

** When everything was settled, the arbitration team expelled Lattimore and Evans.

**Winston then tried to go deep for Olave but Jamel Dean covered him like coverage and intercepted him in the end zone for a touchback.

** Rookie Alontae Taylor replaced Lattimore at cornerback when Tampa won the ball with 11:48 left.

** Tampa Bay then got going, thanks to two big penalties, one against Bradley Roby from 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, the second on Shy Tuttle from five yards for defensive holding.

** Brady, with all day to throw, went deep for Breshad Perriman and on a perfectly pitched ball, Perriman caught PJ Williams, trying to cover a wide receiver, and Tampa Bay had a 10-3 lead with 7 :41 playing in the game.

** The practice covered 80 yards in nine plays, falling 4:07 behind.

**Winston, throwing his back foot, wide past his intended receiver. Dean came on with his second interception, sending it back to the New Orleans 29-yard line.

** This set up what was essentially Succop’s game-winning 47-yard field goal, making it 13-3 with 5:55 left.

**Tampa Bay then sealed the deal when Winston made an ill-advised throw that Mike Edwards intercepted and returned intact, 68 yards for a score of 20-3 with 4:11 remaining.

** To his credit, Winston hung on and headed a 75-yard touchdown in just six plays, hitting Michael Thomas for seven yards to make it 20-10 with 3:02 left in the game . The big play in practice was a 42-yard pass interference penalty against Carlton Davis, trying to cover Olave on another deep ball.

**Winston eventually connected deep with Olave for a 59-yard gain, but Olave fumbled the ball when it hit the ground and Davis recovered.

When you commit five turnovers and lose the turnover battle by three, you have no chance of beating a good team.

Tampa Bay has an elite defense.

New Orleans has a good defense.

The Buccaneers made fewer mistakes and took advantage of a few shaky calls.

It was enough to produce the victory.

The question now is whether Winston can put him in the rearview mirror and bounce back next week in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers as the Saints complete a trio of straight games to open the season against divisional opponents.

In many ways, the game reminded me of the 2020 season playoff loss when the Saints turned into a second-half turnover machine and let one slip away.

The Las Vegas skeptics who have won the Saints less than nine games this season seemed pretty smart that day.

Surely Saints fans are hoping this isn’t a trend.


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