The Tampa Bay Buccaneers visited New Orleans Saints at the Superdome in a matchup of one of the hottest teams in the NFL against a team with the third longest losing streak in the NFL. The Buccaneers losing streak extends to five as they lose to the Saints 30-10.
The Defense is Not to Blame
The Buccaneers have some major holes in their defense. Yet, in spite of the 30 points allowed against the Saints, the defense was not the reason the Buccaneers lost this game. Saints quarterback Drew Brees had a great game by completing 22 passes on 27 attempts (82 percent completion) and two touchdowns. But the Buccaneers did limit him to 263 passing yards.
The defense actually deserves credit for keeping the score at 16-3 and giving the team a chance to comeback in the second half. The Saints started the game with an 11-play drive. Michael Thomas had three catches for 13 yards on the drive while Ted Ginn Jr. had two catches for 19 yards, and Alvin Kamara ran the ball three times for nine yards and had a reception for 16 yards.
Fortunately, the defense stepped up and limited the drive to a 40-yard field goal by Wil Lutz. The Saints first touchdown actually came on a blocked punt by of Tampa Bay’s Bryan Anger. Justin Hardee came through the line of scrimmage and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. Then after another Saints drive that went for 10 plays the Buccaneers recovered a forced fumble. Mark Ingram had five rushes for 18 yards on the drive before Lavonte David forced a fumble on Kamara, which was recovered by T.J. Ward.
Offense Suffered From Penalties, Turnovers and Injuries
The Buccaneers offense committed seven penalties for 50 yards. The Buccaneers even had two penalties on their best drive of the game. Peyton Barber went off on the drive for four carries and 14 rushing yards. But his efforts were nulled by a delay of game and a false start on right tackle Demar Dotson.
They were bailed out by a 50-yard field goal by Patrick Murray for their first score of the game. Jameis Winston was removed at quarterback before the start of the third quarter with a lingering shoulder injury that goes back to the game against the Arizona Cardinals. On the second drive of the half with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, O.J. Howard completed a six-yard reception and then lost a fumble that was recovered by Chris Banjo.
Great Special Teams, Awful Special Teams
Anger’s punt was blocked by Hardee and returned for a touchdown on the Bucs first drive of the game but the extra point attempt by Lutz was blocked to make the score just 9-0 at the time. Anger’s next punt went for 32 yards to keep the Saints at their own 11-yard line. The Saints offense went for a three-and-out.
Anger had three punts drop inside the 20 and four inside the 25-yard line. The punt coverage team also limited the duo of Ginn and Willie Snead to minus-five yards and forced two fumbles, one which was recovered by Chris Godwin. Murray’s 50-yard bomb in the second quarter was the second time he converted from that distance and it was his fifth consecutive made field goal. However, he snapped that streak in the fourth quarter when he missed a 54-yard field goal.
View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: Week Nine Tampa Bay Buccaneers Takeaways