It doesn’t matter what the records are or where we might be in the football calendar. Anytime you play against the Saints in the Superdome, you know it’s going to be a tough task. That’s what the Bucs had on their plate as they traveled to New Orleans with an early lead on the NFC South on the line.

The Bucs received the opening kickoff, and let’s just say that things could have gotten off to a better start. After a nice first play run by running back Peyton Barber, the Bucs offense couldn’t get much going. It nearly went to disaster when Winston threw an interception to safety Marcus Williams, but a delay of game on the Buccaneers actually saved them and the team was able to just punt it away.

The Saints, led by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, couldn’t get much going on their first drive either, and after just six plays and 33 yards they, too, were forced to punt it away.

Following a Bucs three-and-out, the Saints took over and orchestrated the first long drive of the day. After nine plays and 53 yards, they were able to get into field goal range and break the scoreless tie with a short 29-yard field goal off the foot of kicker Will Lutz.

The Bucs offensive struggled continued n their next drive, as it was another three-and-out straight back to the Saints. However, instead of yielding even more momentum to the home team, Bridgewater threw an interception to Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. This was the rookie’s first interception of his career, and the offense did their part to make the most of it with a 2-play, 20-yard drive that ended in six points. The gave Tampa the lead at 7-3.

The Saints, as is often the case, did not go quietly after being down on the scoreboard. In response to Tampa’s score, Bridgewater drove New Orleans down the field 75 yards in nine plays to get a score of their own. Bridgewater connected with wide receiver Michael Thomas, and this gave them the lead 10-7.

Winston and the Bucs offense began to settle in when they took the ball down three points. A few good runs by Ronald Jones and a nifty end around run by wide receiver Scotty Miller put the Bucs in scoring range. Unfortunately the score was only for three, but that did tie the game up 10-10.

Instead of finding a lull in the game, these teams continued to go back-and-forth on the scoreboard, and the Saints answers the Bucs score with a great one of their own. After Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis was ejected from the game due to a helmet-to-helmet hit, it became very tough to handle all the Saints receiving weapons. At the end of an 8-play 75-yard drive, Bridgewater found tight end Jared Cook in the end zone for six points, and one extra point later, a 17-10 lead.

That’s how the game would go to the half.

New Orleans received the ball for the second half and didn’t take long to do damage with it. In just three pays, the Saints drove the ball 75 yards down the field for another touchdown, this time to wide receiver Ted Ginn — the third different receiving player to score on the day. And just like that the Bucs were down 24-10.

When the Bucs took the field following going down two scores, they showed the Saints that there are two ways to get the ball down the field. Though their way wasn’t as quick as the Saints’ 3-play scoring drive, Tampa Bay’s next drive of 17 plays also went the distance of 75 yards and also ended in six points, as running back Peyton Barber scampered into the end zone on a short carry near the goal line. The score then became just a 24-17 lead for the Saints.

After back-to-back punts, one by each team, the Saints really started to control the clock and move the ball. On a 13-play drive that went 67 yards and took up nearly 6:30 of game clock, Bridgewater hooked up with Thomas in the end zone yet again to bring the score to 31-17. This was Bridgewater’s fourth touchdown pass of the game.

The Bucs couldn’t get anything going on their next drive, and after a three-and-out that included a sack on Winston, they were forced to punt it back with under 10 minutes to go in the game. The Saints went on a three-and-out of their own on their next possession, but when the Buccaneers got the ball back, New Orleans pass rush got to Winston three times in one drive and Tampa Bay had to punt it away.

The Saints then took over up two scores with five minutes remaining. As they had all game, they protected the ball and controlled the clock. Though they sustained a long drive, they did eventually give the ball back to the Bucs with just over a minute left. The Bucs would drive all the way down the field and Winston would hook up with Godwin for one more touchdown, brining the score to 31-24.

But unfortunately that’s as close as Tampa would get, and the game would end in a 31-24 Saints victory.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

41 COMMENTS

  1. Tampa Bay “Rollercoaster” Buccaneers

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  2. The quarter knows, lol.

    We got our asses kicked. Godwin was only player that showed up with a so so performance but so wins most impressive by default. Most disappointing there rest of the team and coaching staff.

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    • SO SO performance huh 125 yards and 2 td’s is so so huh? Well I hope Godwin has these kind of “So So” games the rest of the season!

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  3. Hargraves has third degree burns after that game! No pass rush for us, great pass rush from them. Bad coverage by us, good coverage by them= loss to a better team, period.

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  4. Wow Bowles found his inner Mike Smith and played off coverage and didn’t blitz much. Maybe we should double cover Thomas like they did Evans. Horrible offensive game plan, we don’t have any identity on offense. Bad game for the Oline. Got to play better next week.

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    • Mizz,i thought the same. Last weeks game should have been an implication that we gotta stop the pass, and straight up, BA needs to take playing calling on O. This should not be the time to teach the next generation of coaches, he should not use the bucs as a trial and error for Leftwhich

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      • Honestly tho if Ariana sees so much in leftwhich this is the perfect time for him to let him learn. Even with better play calling I don’t believe we would win many more games with our how our defense is playing. So once we have a more complete team next year leftwhich will be a much more experienced play caller.

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  5. I’m in California and I showed up more than the secondary! so frustrating. These guys must have been hung over from last weeks W.

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  6. It feels like we are playing HOF QBs lately! Where tf was devin white at? Atleast all this frustration and anger gives me energy to finish last reps on the bench, smdh.

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  7. Not even coaching can help if you just don’t have the players. The defense is just bad and I would have to assume Hargreaves won’t be finding a second contract here in Tampa.

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    • I really hope VHIII does not get a second deal unless it is a one year prove it deal so he can provide some depth because he is not a starting CB on many other teams. We really need to find a true #1 CB in the draft because until the Bucs find a really CB this defense will continue to get roasted like they have been for what feels like forever.

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      • He’s on the 5th year of his rookie contract which is essentially a one year prove it contract. Just like Winston

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  8. I really dont know where to start with this shit show today. Defense played like Lovie or Mike Smith was calling plays. How the F do you play off coverage inside the 10 and let the Saints complete an easy slant for a TD. Jason Licht has used 9 picks in the last 4 or 5 years on DBs and our secondary sucks. If Todd Bowles wants to blitz and leave CB on an island, we might want to go out and get at least 2 CB that can play shut down man-to-man coverage. VH3 has always sucked, and all our other CB are not far behind. Our o-line is not very good, Doston was abused all day, as was Donovan Smith. And I think Mike Evans is a good WR, but you cant be held without a catch in Any game. Piss poor effort today.

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    • Gibs,opening sentence made me laugh and almost cry,lol

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  9. Oline decided not to show up, and with no pressure all game, these CB’s are getting smoked. You might as well say bye bye to VH3. Dude can’t cover anyone. Michael Thomas has a hay day. These teams weaknesses were exposed

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  10. VH3 sucks I don’t think he should start we can’t cover a TE and Dot was dominated he looked like he got sprayed by roach spray he was on his back so much

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    • Hahaha

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  11. But my biggest question is how do we have such little cap room with so many blaring holes?

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    • I believe the comment by a PR fan (who will go unnamed) this past week was “Jason Licht will win Executive of the Year”…LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

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      • I’ll never back down from predicting good things for my team, unlike some fickle fan like you who “laughs out loud” when we loose. I still believe in this team no matter what the circumstances are and so you and people like you can laugh at me all you want. But I will never apologize for loving my Team. Pom Poms Waiving! Go Bucs!!!

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        • I’d say the issue is you are loving Jason Licht, not the team. It should be clear that our team has suffered and is suffering because of the critical mistakes made by Licht for 5 years now. What is best for the team is to move on from this guy – those who truly love the team recognize when tough decisions are needed and don’t stop calling out the failings until we get it right! #FireLicht

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  12. Y’all are aware that the defense actually played better than last week right?

    Losing to the Saints in New Orleans is nothing to be ashamed of, but those two losses at home are looming large now.
    I think part of the blame is the conservative play calling. Not trying to get a field goal at the end of the first. Not going for it on Fourth and two. Last week we never took our foot off the gas. This week it seemed like we were riding the brake the entire game.
    Bucs are still a year away. We’re playing better than last year, much better, and our coach is fixing problems left and right, but we still don’t have the players we need. Pass coverage is still a huge void.

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  13. They played a stinker all around. O line was beat like little bitches. Secondary was garbage. D line didn’t do shit. Run game was decent. Winston stunk but doubt anyone would been better under duress whole game. Not much else to say. We got our young asses kicked by likely Best team in NFC. Move on and learn from it what you can I guess. Pathetic effort imo.

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  14. So happy I recorded the game and finished it about 5 minutes after the game was actually over, as I remained calm.
    Today we got beat by a better team. I hope it puts the fire in the Bucs next time we play them because what’s your last name 2 minutes left Sean Payton wanted to get that third touchdown on us; did he get mad when they didn’t make it on that fourth and three try. Hargreaves was an easy target to be picked on today, and Mike Evans couldn’t do anything with Lattimore covering him. Oh well, the yo-yo playing continues.

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  15. You will never win in this league coaching scared! Last week they come in attack mode, this week we couldn’t beat a high school JV squad. Leftwich’s play calling is by far the weakest link on this team and I am not sure he can turn it around this season. I expected more plays to the TE’s than what we got and a more up tempo offense than just walking up to line of scrimmage and hike.

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  16. Bowles shit the bed.

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  17. Cant change teams looks until make Bigger changes. Got rid of McCoy to change D attitude, went with Suh, but still need more Studs, aka. JPP, and many others if want to compete?! Need at least one real DB, maybe Peterson??? Make a deal!!! Ramsey would be such a get, but… too expensive. Secondary sucks with Zero Pressure! Bucs aint changing until biggest problem gone, Winston. Started out shitty, ended shitty=Loss! But we all wished for a Win but got the expected outcome with Winston. He played terrible, and lucked out with reversed interception but feels like that set the teams mood for the day? Need a real QB, probably before more than a real secondary? But thats a toss up!

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    • Probably the ignorant comment of the day! I felt like someone would some how pin this on Winston, when all he’s trying to do is make a play.

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    • Dumb comment of the day goes to you. Im tired of the almost interception stat. Its not a pick period. Wvery qb has some close calls but the trolls love to bring up jameis’ almost pics. The line was trash today, hard to pkay qb when your right tackle is a turnstyle all game.

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  18. Wow what a let down. 2 major flaws still on this team. This secondary cant cover anyone. They just let teddy check down pass all over them. And what is hargreaves doing on michael thomas? He has zero shot at that. Dotson is done, he is bar our weakest line link. But the line as a whole was awful today. Pathetic actually. Godwin is special and mike seems to disappear against latimore. This is all a bad sign in terms of pressure. Teddy had l day back there, barrett meeds some helpe here. And finally, as usual the officials are a joke. Those two calls were absolute bullshit.

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    • I agree with your summary- well put.

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  19. Yes, we played like shit, but we would have had a chance to win if not for the referees being in the Saints’ back pocket (BOTH challenges should not only have gone in our favor, but neither should have been necessary) and if Davis doesn’t make one of the most idiotic penalties I’ve ever seen (he won’t be suspended next week, but if he was I couldn’t argue with it). All three moments either cost us points or led directly to Saints TDs and swung the game.

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  20. Impossible to win against a good team like the Saints when you have to overcome the refs too!

    1. That was a fumble recovery on that punt by Auclair.
    2. Agree with the flag and likely fine coming to Carlton Davis. Do not agree with the ejection. Mike Edwards played soft the rest of the game. VH3 was noticeably hesitant. How can you teach a young secondary to be aggressive with this unfair rule. Last week we witness Jack Cichy get maliciously pile-driven into the ground with no penalty called, no fine by the NFL and definitely no ejection to Malcolm Brown!! Meanwhile D Smith gets fined by the NFL on a hustle play and Carlton Davis gets ejected for what is now considered poor tackling technique. I CALL BULLSHIT ON THE PLAYER SAFETY NARRATIVE! These calls have less to do with players safety. It’s lip service. It’s the secondary concern while the politics of helmet-to-helmet plays have taken front and center! UNBELIEVABLE! Why is Tampa media so silent on this issue now that it has bit us in the ass two weeks in a row!!!
    3. NO PASS INTERFERENCE ON MICHAEL THOMAS ON THE RED FLAG CHALLENGE?! BULLSHIT!!! How many times have we seen this called against Mike Evans?! This is can easily be called PI on Michael Thomas!! EASILY DEFENSIBLE TO ARGUE THAT AS A PI CALL!! WTF! Wanna know a large reason why parity exists game to game?! Cuz the refs do this shit! But no, they’re not going to call PI on New Orleans… the team that invented the damn rule. The NFL (and I lump players and coaches in this too cuz they are the brand too), in addition to their hypocrisy on the issue of player safety, has likely encouraged refs to not hold the inventors of the rule accountable. Great way to quiet that fanbase down over the injustice that happened to them in the NFC Championship game. (Wasn’t there a movement for a lawsuit against the NFL by New Orleans)?? Yeah…. there’s some bite to this…. this effin’ fraudulent league! People betting and betting…. losing money…. not me. I can’t trust this product. It’s bad. Good makeup by the NFL to atone for us beating the Rams last week. Sure Vegas didn’t like that.

    So today we definitely lost because of the refs. That’s my narrative and I’m stickin’ to it!

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    Rating: +9. From 11 votes.
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  21. Trying to be the voice of reason – as I was last week when we had PR fans calling for Jensen to be in the pro bowl, and Licht to be ordained as Exec of the Year…no to both of those btw.

    But this week (again searching for s calm middle ground of reason), I’m not sure Leftwich is chiefly at fault….I highly doubt he said to Jameis, “whatever you do, don’t throw to Mike”. It seems to me that our OLine was overwhelmed and Jameis had little time to find Evans. Now maybe we can blame Leftwich for sending Mike on such deep routes (remembering last weeks bomb to Evans of course), but I think we were doomed with the line we had.

    And once again, I see a very clear person responsible for personnel that has failed, Mr Licht.

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    • EastEndBoy I couldn’t agree more. Jason Licht is the person to blame for this shit show. His drafting and personnel decision have been suspect at best. I am tired of the same lame ass excuses coming out of One Buc Place

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  22. We lost all around to a better team, at every position, they were just better then us. We won’t know what we have, till we add them all up at the end of the year.

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  23. All losses suck but I’ve seen worse losses. I can’t say I’m surprised we lost since we faced a backup QB and the Bucs fair poorly against them and rookie QBs. However this was a winnable game and I hate to see us not take advantage of it.

    Like every week our CBs suck.

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  24. Don’t know why the OC has Jameis throwing to scotty Miller when they have 3 6’5′ receivers Evans, Brate, and Howard????WTF????

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  25. The Saints have the best lines in the NFCS and showed why they are an elite NFC team.

    Bucs are not there yet to compete with the Saints but if they keep investing in the lines the Bucs will be able to compete more consistently with a team line the Saints. Investing in the trenches matters!

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  26. Bucs draft needs in 2020:

    DL, RT, and maybe another OL to develop for depth.

    As for CB Bucs are going to probably cycle through the players they have on the roster to find the best starting combo by the time the end of the year rolls around. Don’t be surprised to see Dean slowly have his playing time increase as the season goes on.

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  27. Can we all just agree that the real problem here is BY FAR the refs?! Seriously, robbed us so hard multiple times. If they used common sense, and didn’t favor the Saints, we could have had many more points and MUCH more momentum. They killed it, end of story.

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