Saints beat Bucs behind backup QB

by Gary Shelton on November 1, 2021

in general

Chris Godwin had 140 yards on eight catches./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

Once again, the New Orleans Saints have given the Tampa Bay Bucs a gift: The gift of self-realization.

No, they are destined to repeat last year's Super Bowl victory. No, they aren't the best team in the NFC. Heck, they aren't even the best team in the NFC South.

Today, the Bucs can look in the mirror and say that while they are talented, they need to play better or these types of afternoons will repeat themselves.

The Saints, down to a third-string quarterback in mothballs, came from behind (after the Bucs did the same) to beat Tampa Bay 36-27 on Sunday afternoon. The Saints dominated the lines of scrimmage, and they looked quicker and hungrier than the Bucs. The Bucs were sloppy (three turnovers) and undisciplined (11 penalties).

Every series, it seems that the Saints were pointing out flaws in the Bucs' attack.

-- Tampa Bay was penalized a football field (99 yards), sometimes for plays they were simply beaten on.

-- The secondary was exposed by journeyman quarterback Trevor Simeon, who came in after Jameis Winston was hurt with the scored tied at 7. Remember that -- it wasn't Drew Brees, it wasn't even Winston. It was Trevor Simeon.

-- Mike Evans had a 41-yard scoring catch, but for the day, he was tied as Tampa Bay's fifth leading receiver.

-- The offensive line gave up three sacks. No runner had more than 30 yards.

-- The defensive line had another ordinary performance, giving up 152 yards rushing. It had only one sack.

-- After Brady gave the Bucs' a brief lead at 27-26, the defense had a chance to win the game with a stop. Instead, Simeon led the Saints 70 yards in 12 plays for the win.

Did that have your attention yet?

"Penalties," said Bucs' coach Bruce Arians. "We gave it to them. We gave them easy first downs all day."

It was reminiscent of another loss -- last year's stumbling in Chicago -- when the Bucs were heavily penalized and were outplayed by an out-talented Bears team. After that game grabbed the attention of the Bucs, they focused and solidified. This team has a chance to do the same.

In four games against the Saints, Brady has now given up seven interceptions.

"Bad throws," Brady said. "(On the last pick) I just threw it to the wrong guy. I had Mike open. Cost us the game. It's tough to win that way when you turn over the ball the way I did. I've got to not throw interceptions."

The Bucs' defense, somehow, had an afternoon of giving up a big play, or of committing a penalty to give the Saints another chance.

Quarterback Tom Brady had an uneven day. He threw for 375 yards and four scores,but he threw two interceptions (including a pick-six) and fumbled once. Still, he led Tampa Bay from a 23-7 deficit to take the lead. But after that, the Saints drove down for the winning field goal. A pick-six at the end just padded the lead.

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