The game did not start out in the Buccaneers favor, as Drew Brees and the Saints offense, led by a 35-yard catch by running back Alvin Kamara, gave New Orleans an early 7-0 lead. It looked like it could be a long day for the Buccaneers after that drive, and it was, but for reasons we weren’t expecting.

On the following Buccaneers drive, with Todd Monken calling the plays, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a few easy passes before completing a long 58-yard bomb to wide receiver DeSean Jackson for a touchdown. That not only tie things on the scoreboard, but got our full attention.

On the following drive, the Saints drove the ball 78 yards in 11 plays. Brees completed a handful of short and intermediate passes against the Bucs off coverage which resulted in three points and a re-taking of the lead.

But when the Bucs offense took the field again, they were even better than before, as Fitzpatrick led a 6-play, 75-yard drive which included big passes to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, which got the Bucs to the goal line and Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambled it in on an RPO.

If that wild start wasn’t enough, the Saints then answered the Buccaneers with a quick 4-play, 74-yard drive of their own with a 35-yard pass to Michael Thomas and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn. That brought the score to 17-14 in favor of the Saints.

The Bucs slowed things down a tad on their next drive with a longer 8-play 60-yard drive. That drive ended in a field goal and tied things back up at 17-17.

After the 17-17 tie, the Bucs defense actually held firm and forced the Saints to punt for the first time in the game. But when the Bucs got back on offense, the Saints defense didn’t have the same luck. A 10-play, 78-yard drive by Tampa Bay gave the Bucs the 24-17 lead. And to top it off, the Bucs forced a fumble on the Saints next play and picked it up for a score. The score then went to 31-17.

The Saints did get one back on their next drive, as Brees and company took the ball down the field methodically and the half would end 31-24 in favor of Tampa Bay.

The Bucs came out in the second half and continued to be aggressive, despite being up on the scoreboard. They drove the ball down the field 57 yards in nine plays for a field goal to increase the lead to a total of 34-24.

For the next three straight possessions, we would see punts. That was the first punt of the game for Tampa Bay. After the saints’ second punt, however, the Bucs offense got hot again, and a 50-yard bomb to Mike Evans ended in six points and a 41-24 lead.

On the following Saints possession, they were, again, driving down the field easily, but a forced fumble by Kwon Alexander gave the Bucs the ball. With the ball back in their hands, Fitzpatrick hit DeSean Jackson for another long touchdown of 36 yards. The score the became 48-24, tying the franchise record for points in a single game.

The Saints continued to move the ball well on their next drive, getting all the way down to the one yard line, which allowed Alvin Kamara to run in an easy score. After a successful two-point conversion, the score was then 48-32.

After the Saints scored, they had life. The Bucs went on a good, long drive which kept the clock running and got the Bucs into field goal range yet again. However, Catanzaro’s first miss of the day meant the score stayed 48-32 as the Saints took over.

With momentum fully on their side, quarterback Drew Brees orchestrated an incredibly quick 5-play, 66-yard drive that ended in not only a touchdown pass but also a 2-point conversion. It was then a one-score game against at 48-40.

On the Bucs next drive, things looked bleak after a holding call to start the drive, but a wild scramble on 3rd-and-11 by Ryan Fitzpatrick gave the Buccaneers the first down and sealed the victory, 48-40.

Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ended the game with 417 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, 38 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, too. Mike Evans led the team in receiving with 147 yards on seven catches with a touchdown, and DeSean Jackson had 146 receiving yards on five catches with two touchdowns.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

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]
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Buc76
Buc76
3 years ago

I stand corrected on the offense. Defense gave up 40 can’t survive like that. Kicker almost cost us the game. Go Bucs!! A win is a win.

JustaBuc
JustaBuc
Reply to  Buc76
3 years ago

Eat that crow.

Devasher
Devasher
Reply to  JustaBuc
3 years ago

Bucs started 1-0 last year with an easy win over the Bears, didnt carry over unfortunately to the rest of the season.

If the offense line can stay healthy, dominate like they did most of this game and the QB can play at an almost MVP level on a weekly basis then this is a playoff team. If not, there are going to be some long games on defense.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  JustaBuc
3 years ago

I am and happy to do so. Mike Smith still sucks though despite his scheme. At least Koetter can now pay attention to the defense too. Go Bucs!

Randy H.
Randy H.
Reply to  Buc76
3 years ago

The kick was tipped which sent it off course.

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  Randy H.
3 years ago

Thanks Randy! Can someone confirm?

GrayBalls
GrayBalls
Reply to  76Buc
3 years ago

Definitely tipped. It didn’t change direction much, but enough to send it wide and put a wild wobble to it

BucWild02
BucWild02
Reply to  Buc76
3 years ago

A win is a win.

Also: A moron is a moron. A plate of crow is a plate of crow. A scared pessimist is a scared pessimist.

Dman
Dman
3 years ago

There are no words!!!!!

Go Bucs!!!!

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  Dman
3 years ago

Right on Dman!

Brooks Dunn-Winston
Brooks Dunn-Winston
3 years ago

Awesome feeling. Did JPP play?

BucWild02
BucWild02
Reply to  Brooks Dunn-Winston
3 years ago

Passive aggressive much?

seat26
seat26
3 years ago

I don’t know if I should be ecstatic that we ran up over 500 yds or depressed that the Saints almost did too.

WiltheBrewer
WiltheBrewer
Reply to  seat26
3 years ago

Seat26, just go w/ the ‘W’…

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  seat26
3 years ago

Go with the O!

Jlog
Jlog
3 years ago

Pleasantly surprised, surprised, but honstistly I think it’s a worse sign for the Saint D. Still thrilled with the win.

We might just be the he highest scoring offense for week one, with a back up no less bravo Buc’s.

buddah
buddah
Reply to  Jlog
3 years ago

There will be two unstoppable offenses this year. Ours and Saints. To win against Brees and the Saints with a completely overmatched and depleted secondary is a heroic accomplishment. Still the haters will come be out in force. All the 0-3 experts, how do you like them Buccaneers.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  buddah
3 years ago

Obviously we are happy for the win.

WiltheBrewer
WiltheBrewer
Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

Horse, I was having flashbacks to 2 games: beating MIN the year they went 15-1,( and I don’t think they punted once); and the MNF game against Indy, where ” leaping” was introduced to our lexicon. When that kick was missed, I was thinking
OH S*%$ !!

BucWild02
BucWild02
Reply to  WiltheBrewer
3 years ago

The Viking game against Culpepper and Moss where neither team punted is the only game that comes close to this one in Bucs history in my humble opinion. What an offense! Fitzmagic was in control all day.

Defense scored a touchdown today and created a few turnovers. That makes me very happy. I will be happy for all the gloom and doom experts in the Tampa media who continue to wonder if the Bucs can ever win again.

ScottC543
ScottC543
Reply to  buddah
3 years ago

Once again, I’m with buddah. We just might be the number 1 offense in the league this year. We can score with absolutely anyone.

Brees has such a quick release (and a brilliant understanding of the game) that he is nearly impossible to sack. There aren’t many QBs in the league with his skill-set. N. O. is likely the stiffest test our D will face this year, and we beat them on the road.

Keep it rolling like this and it’s going to be a REALLY fun year for us Bugs fans.

ScottC543
ScottC543
Reply to  ScottC543
3 years ago

Okay, I’m not really a Bugs fan.

JustaBuc
JustaBuc
3 years ago

Easy win.

Bob Will
Bob Will
3 years ago

Mike Smith’s defense still is awful, we have a wonderful offense but we can not score 40 plus points every week. The defense has to improve and hope we did not lose Jackson. Go Buc’s

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  Bob Will
3 years ago

I truly believe this defense will get better when they gel-probably after the bye week.

Charlie
Charlie
3 years ago

YOOOOO FITZMAGIK!! THAT WAS AWESOME!! The way he bulled his way into the endzone for the 2nd TD gave this team life it hasn’t had in a long time! Also on that drive Peyton Barber straight up tricked that dude on that drive as well!! That put the Saints D on notice for the whole game! Thanks Todd Monken for keeping our offense in a rythem and unlocking its potential. Allowing Dirk to make crucial time out calls and substitutions during a couple remembable defensive 3rd downs…the rookie DB, had some expected growing pains, pass rush there a bit…but against… Read more »

XpfcWintergreen2
XpfcWintergreen2
3 years ago

Waa…hooooo!!
To hell with the pundits, the trolls and the nattering negativists who dare to call themselves fans.

No Excuses! Now, on to the next challenge, the Eagles!
______________
Go Bucs!!!!!

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
3 years ago

That was insane. That’s one of the best offensive performances I’ve ever seen from this team. Fitzmagic was perfect all game. Running when he had to as well. I’d also like to give kudos to the offensive line as well as they kept the pocket clean for a lot of deep balls. We wont do this every week but damn we have some weopans. Now for the bad part, our defense contu uses to be swiss cheese. And that vaunted front four was almost invisible. A win is a win in the pros so I’ll take it, especially beating that… Read more »

scubog
scubog
Reply to  cgmaster27
3 years ago

Careful now. Naples might call you juvenile for making a snide remark about Sean Payton, who was up to his typical antics on the sideline.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
3 years ago

Fire them cannons! Bucs win! Bucs win!

Congrats to Koetter and Bucs for a well deserved and important win!

jiggyjoe
jiggyjoe
3 years ago

You might go back and check out my prediction. Very happy for the Bucs…..

BucWild02
BucWild02
Reply to  jiggyjoe
3 years ago

Im right there with you JiggyJoe. I called a Bucs blowout over the Saints. The fact that it was 48-24 was S-W-E-E-T. Im really glad they hung on. Took all the guts they had in the end. Even if it wasn’t quite the blowout I thought it would be, they got it done.

macabee
macabee
3 years ago

I’m not going to take anything away from the Bucs today – they were outstanding. Keep in mind Drew Brees is a 1st ballot HOFer. We will not face that kind of QB every week. I will not lie. I did not expect this. Although I never pick against the Bucs, I thought they would lose this game – they won and kinda made it look easy. Sure our young secondary got a lesson today and Brees had one of his best days, but he lost and we won. It doesn’t get any better than this. Go Bucs!

Horse
Horse
Reply to  macabee
3 years ago

Love the win even more when we beat the Saints! It was an exciting game to watch.

TheTruth
TheTruth
3 years ago

Pencil in Ryan for the starter this year at least he doesn’t have off the field issues and our defense other than 1 sack and a TD sucked, one win does not equal a year.

Twistedwires
Twistedwires
3 years ago

The good (great): Offensive play calling, Offensive line play (under the radar but critical today), Fitzmagic, wide receiver route running, good enough run game, and at least a couple of defensive splash plays (critical).

The bad: Inconsistent defensive line pressure, another missed FG, missed tackles, vanilla defensive play calling.

But at the end of the day, it’s been a long time since I have leaped off of my couch as much as I did today. And that’s what its really all about. I had fun. What about you?
Great win.

Jlog
Jlog
Reply to  Twistedwires
3 years ago

Crucial win, no doubt about it.

The defense is scary bad. We aren’t going to win every shootout to do with Fitz is a huge win.

ScottC543
ScottC543
Reply to  Jlog
3 years ago

Scary bad??? Drew Brees and the Saints can make any defense look pitiful. Let’s see how they do against lessor offenses before we pronounce them awful. We had guys out there on defense literally playing in their first NFL game, and against one of the best QBs of all time.

I think the D will be plenty good enough for us to win a lot of games this year.

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

Said before game wouldn’t shock me if we blew saints out or got blown out. Defense is work in progress but offense is for real. Go Bucs!

We’re is BucAssBob and all negative idiots now.

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

My main complaint was Winston JPP Fat Veta and RoJo
how those 4 do fredster

Dave
Dave
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

Well let’s see genius, 3 of the 4 didn’t play. Anything else?

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

The Bucs are better offence under Ryan Fitzpatrick I give him credit ,Saints D players bad but Ryan was part of reason Saints D played bad Ryan just put up allstar numbers he will lead league week 1 One Jameis Winston interception and Bucs could have lost that game. D line 2 tackles 4 quarters defence backfield had 41 tackles McCoy was double teamed all day had 1 tackle Vinny had 1 tackle the rest were linebackers and DB and safeties JPP looked pathetic I do not think he is even trying, Fitz does this again and I think Bucs… Read more »

TheTruth
TheTruth
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

Agreed you put Jameis into this game in lieu (instead) of Fitz and he gets 3 TD’s and 1 INT and we do not win this game, running game only existed because Fitz was on fire and our Kicking game is still up in the air and our D that was so much improved and talked about this offseason didn’t show up except for 2 plays. I don’t care if Brees is a HOF QB, we have had much better days as a D than today. Our offense, Monken calling plays, our O-line and Fitz won this game. I am… Read more »

ScottC543
ScottC543
Reply to  TheTruth
3 years ago

I’ll tell you how they’ll compare. We won’t score 40 something points against them.

But their offense won’t score 40 on us either.

My prediction: We’ll win by double digits.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

I believe he and others were playing hurt. I’ll take the win. Now on to the Eagles who have a very good defense and an average offense. Go Bucs!

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

I think they already have a QB controversy, and I don’t like it!

Latinracer1
Latinracer1
3 years ago

Awesome win, bucs. Now all we need a running game. I say we trade for LeVeon Bell and pay him for 3 years. This team has some talent to win some wins.

pinkstob
pinkstob
3 years ago

One of my friends I watch the games with said Doug Williams once threw for 486 yards and 4 TDs against the Vikings back in like the 80’s. Since I didn’t see that game I’ll say that was the best performance I have ever seen by a Bucs QB. Absolutely everything the OC called worked from a passing standpoint. The O-line pass blocked incredibly. I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun watching the Bucs. Way to go guys!

fl0nase
fl0nase
3 years ago

Oh man I’m so excited! Old man Fitzy playing lights out. I bet there are some Jets fans wishing they had him back right now. HUGE win for a team that needed some swagger. No way they’re gonna sneak up on Eagles in week 2 now. But against Foles they still have a shot. Let’s go!

Horse
Horse
3 years ago

Very happy to say I got this one wrong. They did enough to win. Now on to the Eagles. Go Bucs!

macabee
macabee
Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

You were in respectable company Horse. No harm, no fault, everybody got this wrong. I use Pickwatch.Com to see NFL picks before a game. Of 125 networks,sportswriters and other pundits, not a single one picked the Bucs today. Look at the link – 100% picked the Saints to win. And they were wrong! Go Bucs!

https://nflpickwatch.com/

Randy H.
Randy H.
3 years ago

Great offensive show. Surprised no one has mentioned that Monken did the play calling and what a difference that might have made. My Saints’ fan buddy said that both defenses were ugly, but the Saints’ were uglier!!! Had my +9.5 pay off and one step closer to my 6.5 over for the year!

Will
Will
3 years ago

I still believe we should have drafted Derwin James

GrayBalls
GrayBalls
3 years ago

Just throwing this out there…. Safeties are DBs

MrFootball
MrFootball
3 years ago

The Bucs finally have a Captain to steer the ship. He broke a record today. The notorious pirate Red Beard has vanquished those un-saintly foes. We have the captain now give no quarter!

Vinny
Vinny
3 years ago

(Sang to the theme of B.o.B’s – Magic)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq-NShfefks

We’ve got FitzMagic in TB,
Every time he throws the ball,
It turns into 1st and goal,
Everybody knows…

We’ve got FitzMagic in TB,
His beard is magical,
No one can sack our new QB,
Now everybody wants a pass from…

FitzMagic, Magic, Magic,
FitzMagic, Magic, Magic,
FitzMagic, Magic, Magic… aaawoooo
We got FitzMagic in TB

ScottC543
ScottC543
3 years ago

Like I said going in, we can score enough to keep us in any game. Brees is so accurate, and his release is so quick that it is nearly impossible to stop him with just about any defense. We needed to out-score the Saints to win, and we did just that. Bring on Philly. Their D is way better than N. O., but they WILL NOT be able to keep us from scoring more than they do. Hopefully DJax will be able to play, because it sure is fun watching him blow past the last defender on his way to… Read more »

Horse
Horse
3 years ago

The way it looked on TV, DJ looked punch drunk after that catch. I doubt they’ll let him play for a game or two or more as a precaution. I’m more concerned for his safety than take one for the team mentality. Go Bucs! Next man up!