Saints’ defense embarrasses Tampa Bay, 9-0

by Gary Shelton on December 20, 2021

in general

Brady had a forgettable night.//TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

Can we please call a moratorium on all this talk about the NFC's top seed?

Just stop it. All of it. Quiet.

And while we're at it, can we stop the talk about Tom Brady being the league MVP, or Byron Leftwich being a hot coaching candidate, or the Bucs' homefield advantage, or the Bucs' offensive line being the new rocks of granite?

Man, was this embarrassing.

The New Orleans Saints, the franchise that considers the Tampa Bay Bucs as their collective lapdogs, kicked the Bucs around a little more Sunday night. The Saints, a perfectly ordinary team, humiliated the Bucs 9-0 and shattered all those fluffy national opinions of Tampa Bay.

"It was very disappointing," said Bucs' coach Bruce Arians.  "I can’t remember the last time I was shut out... or us. Our kickers let us down also. The defense played good enough to win."

The Saints have now won seven straight regular-season games against the Bucs. Yes, a lot of those were behind Drew Brees, but the last two have been behind Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill.

Meanwhile, Brady had one of the ugliest nights of his career. He was sacked four times and hurried five others, fumbled and suffered an interception and threw for only 214 yards on 49 attempts. He was obviously shaken by the Saints' pass rush and appeared skittish most of the night.

Brady's rating of 57.1 was his lowest of the season, and the second worst of his career in Tampa Bay. The worst, of course, was last season against New Orleans.

To be fair, Brady played much of the night without his weapons. Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette all left the game with injuries, leaving the Bucs with a pedestrian receiver corps. Maybe that's why the Bucs decided to keep Antonio Brown.

“I don’t think we were much good of anything tonigh," Brady said, "I wish it was just one thing, but it was a lot of things. We have to do better in every facet of offensive football to score points – we’re not going to win scoring no points.”

Arians said that the Bucs had seven starters injured during the game.

“It was big," Arians said. "Obviously the young guys…I was hoping they’d stop up more. Overall, we just dropped too many balls. They played that hard man-to-man and we did not do a very good job getting open."

Arians said he did not know the extent of the injuries.

The Bucs came into the game with a chance to clinch the NFC South (for the first time since 2007) and built momentum for the playoffs. Now, those playoffs seem far away and decidedly uphill.

The Bucs travel to Carolina to face the five-win Panthers Sunday. On the other hand, the Saints were only a six-win team.

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