The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were hoping to get off on the right foot but interceptions and lack of offense did them in.
The NFL season finally arrived on Sunday and boy what a way to start the season with two division rivals going at it. Tom Brady was making his Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut with a whole new offense and coach. All the analysts were picking the Saints to win this one but let’s have a closer look at the action.
Bruce Arians opting to defer to start the game giving the New Orleans Saints the ball to start the first quarter. We would get the first glimpse at the Buccaneers defense since preseason was canceled due to COVID-19. They actually did a pretty good job at stopping Drew Brees on his first drive of the game and the Saints would end up punting.
Tom Brady’s first possession was a pretty good one as he led his offense down the field including a 29-year catch and run by Chris Godwin. Brady would finish the drive by running in a 2-yard touchdown to score Tampa’s first points of the season and his first touchdown as a Buccaneer.
The first quarter would end with the Bucs on top 7-0 and it was a pretty solid start that showed promise. The Saints would level the score in the 2nd quarter when Drew Brees would have his chance to drive down the field and the play would be capped by an Alvin Kamara 12 yard running touchdown.
On Brady next possession it got worse for the Bucs as he was picked off by Marcus Williams on the first offensive drive of the second quarter, Brady was looking for Mike Evans but completely missed him and went to Williams.
That led to another Saints touchdown when Alvin Kamara got the ball and would run in a 6-yard reception to make it 14-7 Saints. On the next offensive play for the Bucs, they were able to run the ball well but came up short when Bradley Pinion 54 yard attempt was blocked by the Saints special teams unit.
The Saints added to their lead when Will Lutz kicked a field goal after failing to score a touchdown. We enter the third quarter and things got ugly as Brady was picked off once again by Janoris Jenkins who would run it in for the pick-six to make it 24-7 Saints.
Brady responded when he got the ball back and he would drive the ball downfield once more before finishing the play with a great pass to OJ Howard for a 9-yard touchdown reception to make it 24-17 Saints.
The Buccaneers finally got a stop on defense, one that they desperately needed but couldn’t convert on the next offensive possession opting for a field goal and Bradley Pinion would make it 24-17 Saints.
Brady and the Bucs would go 3 and out to start the 4th quarter and that proved costly as the next play Emmanuel Sanders would add to the Saints lead finishing Drew Brees drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception to make it 31-17 Saints. Things got even worse for the Bucs as off the next kickoff they would fumble the ball and give the ball back to Brees and the Saints.
The Saints would end up kicking another field goal to make it 34-17 and distance themselves from the Bucs. Tom Brady at this point was struggling to get anything done on offense and it looked like even with all the offensive weapons they couldn’t produce.
Brady would get a touchdown back with less than three minutes in the game when he would throw the ball to Mike Evans who would run in a 2-yard touchdown reception to make it 34-23. Brady would go for the 2 point conversion but he would throw the ball too high.
That’s as close as they would get and the final whistle blew and the Saints had a 34-23 win over the Bucs. There is a lot of work to be done and the Bucs will next be in action next Sunday at 1 pm eastern when they take on another division rival in the Carolina Panthers.