(TAMPA, Fla.) — Leading up to the New Orleans Saints’ Sunday Night Football matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, much of the media attention was focused on the team wearing red and orange.
After the Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers 38-10 and the Las Vegas Raiders 45-20, many were dubbing the Bucs as Super Bowl contenders. On top of that, they acquired formerly suspended wide receiver Antonio Brown who led the league in receiving yards from 2010-2018.
These were the reasons NBC analysts gave before the game when they all picked Tampa Bay to win.
The contest took place in Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium and had the privilege of being the nationally televised Sunday Night Football game.
The Saints accounted for over 400 yards of total offense. They had 138 rushing yards against the NFL’s first ranked run defense. Drew Brees had four touchdown passes with no interceptions, putting together a 135.2 passer rating.
The Saints defense forced the Buccaneers to go three-and-out on their first four possessions. On their next five possessions, they amassed three interceptions and two turnover-on-downs. The only points the Buccaneers scored came from a field goal in the fourth quarter when they were already down 38-0. Brady finished the game with a 40.4 passer rating, almost 100 points lower than Brees.
The game lifted the Saints’ record to 6-2 and dropped the Buccaneers’ record to 6-3, marking the first time in his career that Brady was swept by a team in his division. Because they also beat the Buccaneers 34-23 in week one in the Superdome, the Saints will have the tiebreaker for the division should the Bucs and Saints have the same record at the end of the year.