NFL Game Summary - New Orleans at Tampa Bay
(Sunday, September 15th)
Final Score: New Orleans 16, Tampa Bay 14
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The revamped Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary
welcomed Drew Brees into the "No Fly Zone" by stifling him for nearly 59
Good thing Brees still had time on the clock.
Garrett Hartley's 27-yard field goal as time expired lifted the New Orleans
Saints to a 16-14 weather-delayed win over the Buccaneers.
There was a 69-minute lightning delay in the first quarter.
Mason Foster's 85-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Tampa Bay a
14-13 lead early in the fourth and the Bucs later took 5:50 off the clock
before Rian Lindell hooked a 47-yard field goal to the left to give Brees one
He got the ball back with 1:06 to play and immediately went to work.
Brees hit Jimmy Graham, who caught 10 passes for 179 yards and a score,
with a 15-yard completion over the middle. He then connected with Darren
Sproles for an eight-yard pickup before throwing a laser to Marques
Colston on a seam route for a 31-yard gain down to the Tampa Bay 9-yard line.
Brees quickly got up the line, spiked the ball and Hartley split the uprights
to give New Orleans (2-0) another tight victory.
Brees registered 54 of his 322 passing yards on New Orleans' final drive. He
finished 26-of-46 with a touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked four
times. He sliced and diced the Tampa Bay (0-2) secondary last season for 684
yards and eight scores in two games.
"I think wins like this are vital, because no matter what you've done in the
past you've got to kind of prove it to yourself that this team can overcome
those types of odds and circumstances to get a win on the road, in the
division," Brees said.
The much-maligned Saints defense, who surrendered an NFL-record 7,042 total
yards last season, held the Tampa Bay attack to 273 yards. The Rob Ryan-led
defense held the Atlanta Falcons' potent offense scoreless over their final
four drives in Week 1, the last of which ended when veteran safety Roman
Harper intercepted Matt Ryan in the end zone on 4th-and-goal with 43 seconds
Doug Martin carried the ball 29 times for 144 yards for Tampa Bay, which lost
on a field goal in the final seconds for the second straight week. Josh
Freeman was just 9-of-22 for 125 yards with a touchdown and interception
Tampa Bay had the worst passing defense in the NFL last year, which led to a
complete overhaul in the secondary during the offseason. The Bucs traded for
Darrelle Revis, who was coming off an ACL injury, signed touted-safety Dashon
Goldson and drafted cornerback Johnthan Banks in the second round of the NFL
The drastic changes in the secondary led to the Bucs posting a warning sign
entitled the "No Fly Zone" that hovers over the southwest corner of Raymond
James Stadium. The three-time All-Pro cornerback Revis, who coined the term,
is the featured image. He is shown waving his hands to signal an imcomplete
pass. Mark Barron and the All-Pro Goldson are also on the mural.
The Buccaneers allowed 214 yards passing to New York last week.
"I thought there were a lot of good things on defense," Tampa Bay coach Greg
Schiano said. "Unfortunately, it'll be overshadowed by the loss, but that's
team sport. We need to keep getting better. We had, really, two bad plays,
maybe three, but that's life. It cost us dearly. One was for a touchdown, and
one put them in position [to win]."
The Saints began the scoring on their opening drive as Brees led them 54 yards
in 11 plays before Hartley knocked through a 44-yard field goal.
Due to the threat of lightning in the area, play was stopped on the ensuing
kickoff. Both teams headed into their locker rooms, while fans scurried to
find shelter as heavy winds, rain and lightning invaded the stadium.
Following the stoppage, Tampa Bay punted five plays later, but Dekoda Watson
intercepted Brees on the first play of New Orleans' next series. Freeman
flipped a seven-yard score to Kevin Ogletree seven plays later for a 7-3 Tampa
Brees found Graham for completions of seven and six yards, respectively,
before concluding a six-play, 80-yard march with a 56-yard TD pass to a
streaking Graham along the left seam to make it 10-7 in favor of New Orleans.
Following the first half two-minute warning, Brees hooked up with Graham
again, this time for an apparent 30-yard touchdown. Following a review,
though, it was ruled that Graham did not get into the end zone.
Tampa Bay was called for an offsides on a 4th-and-2 as Hartley knocked through
a 20-yard field goal. Saints head coach elected to go for it on 4th-and-1
instead of taking the points and Mark Ingram was stuffed along the left side
for no gain, which kept the score at 10-7 heading into the break.
Cameron Jordan's strip sack of Freeman on a 3rd-and-10 at the New Orleans 36-
yard line was recovered by Junior Galette. The Saints capitalized on the
turnover as Hartley nailed a 41-yarder to make it 13-7.
New Orleans outgained Tampa Bay, 371-273 ... New Orleans was 5-of-14 on third
down, while Tampa Bay finished 5-of-13 on third down ... The Bucs were
penalized 10 times for 118 yards.
09/16 01:38:10 ET
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