Buccaneers shock Saints in their home opener
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers stun the New Orleans Saints in their home opener 48-40.
It would be a fast start for the Saints as they got the ball to start the game and they needed just six plays to score as Drew Brees came out firing. However, it would be Taysom Hill who would be under center to run a read option with Alvin Kamara for the score! 7-0 Saints.
So, the Saints would throw the first punch but as fast as they threw it Ryan Fitzpatrick would throw one right back for a 58-yard play-action touchdown strike to DeSean Jackson. The game was tied at seven.
It would be a more methodical drive for the Saints on their next possession, taking 11 plays that would result in a field goal. Drew Brees would continue to throw the ball well, Ben Watson would get his first catch of the season, but a 3rd and 3 pass off of the fingertips of Alvin Kamara would force the field goal, 10-7 New Orleans.
The New Orleans defense was looking to make up for a break down on their first drive, unfortunately, it wasn't to be as Ryan Fitzpatrick and running back Peyton Barber would do most of the damage. The drive would end with a Fitzpatrick three-yard option run for the score making it 14-10.
Back and forth we would go as the Saints would look to get back on top and as we got into the second quarter they would. It would be a 28-yard throw and catch in the end zone by Tedd Ginn Jr for the score! Saints back on top 17-14.
The next drive the defense would finally hold for the Saints but not until the Bucs were in the red-zone and Chandler Catanzaro nailed a field goal and we were tied at 17.
Stop me if you've heard this before but Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs come right back and take a two-score lead as the Tampa Bay offensive line was dominating the Saints defensive line in the first half. First, Fitzpatrick found Chris Godwin for a score, then Mike Gillislee fumbled the football, and Justin Evans scooped it up for the score. 31-17 Bucs.
Fortunately for New Orleans, they were able to add a touchdown on their final drive of the 1st half as Michael Thomas caught a touchdown pass. You were feeling pretty good as a Saints fan only being down 31-24 at halftime.
As the second half unfolded it was all Tampa Bay in the third quarter as they outscored the Saints 10-0 where the defense continued to struggle. Mike Evans burned Marshon Lattimore for a 50-yard touchdown dart and after that, as the Saints were driving Michael Thomas secured his 12th catch but fumbled the football which gave the ball back to Tampa. 41-24 heading into the fourth quarter....
As we got into the fourth quarter it was more of the same for the Bucs as DeSean Jackson torched the defense for another long touchdown and the shocking rout was on, 48-24 Tampa Bay.
The Saints wouldn't go quietly in this one as they fought back with an Alvin Kamara rushing touchdown and two-point conversion to make it a 48-32 game.
New Orleans would get back into the game after another touchdown by Kamara and a two-point conversion. On the ensuing possession, it was Ryan Fitzpatrick on a 3rd and 11 who was the one to drive the dagger into the Saints hearts with a 12-yard scramble to ice the game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the game 21/28, passed for 417 yards, four touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the leading receivers, Evans caught seven balls for 147 yards and a touchdown. As for Jackson, he caught five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
In the loss, Brees finished 37/45 for 439 yards and three touchdowns. Michael Thomas was a beast hauling in a career-best 16 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. Alvin Kamara also showed out with three total touchdowns, two rushing on 29 yards, and one receiving on nine catches for 112 yards.
The Saints will welcome in the Cleveland Browns next weekend as they'll look for their first win of the year.