An offensive touchdown that would tie the game on the final play was negated by a legitimate illegal touching penalty saved the Saints and allowed them to leave Tampa with a fortunate 35-28 win. The game felt a little bit like the Chiefs game late, where the Saints let a big lead evaporate and their defense was gashed for yardage at will. The Saints survived Buccaneer records for passing yards (Freeman threw for 420), longest play in team history (95 yard pass from Freeman to Vincent Jackson) and receiving yards (Jackson put up 216 yards!) and another largely woeful defensive output. Brees, from early in the second quarter through the third got in one of those zones where he was absolutely unstoppable, and ultimately that was the difference. Below are my bullets on the game.
- As bad as the defense was, they gave up 98 yards rushing on 25 attempts. That's just 3.9 yards a carry. Not amazing, but by this defense's standards that's pretty solid. Take away that one 36 yard touchdown run by Doug Martin where Malcolm Jenkins blew a tackle near the line of scrimmage and the run defense was even better.
- The pass rush, per usual, was deplorable. Josh Freeman had all the time in the world and it made Patrick Robinson an easy victim repeatedly.
- Lance Moore had a whale of a game showing his standard sick hands. 9 catches for 121 yards.
- Courtney Roby may not show up on the stat sheet, but he was the best blocking receiver.
- Joe Morgan's 48 yard touchdown reception and broken tackle is a definite top 10 play of the season.
- Dave Thomas had a little tribute to Jimmy Graham on his touchdown reception with a finger roll over the goal post. Too funny.
- Ronde Barber picked off the Saints yet again. I hate him so much.
- Jonathan Vilma played sparingly and didn't make a huge impact. He did hit Josh Freeman on a blitz and batted down a pass, almost coming up with an interception.
- Roman Harper had what seemed like an interception to me that was negated. I think he was robbed.
- Malcom Jenkins ran down Vincent Jackson on that 95 yard pass play to tackle him at the 1. The Saints would then stop the Bucs on 4 consecutive plays near the goal line to prevent the Bucs from cashing in with any points. Jenkins was in on two of those tackles as well. That was the play of the game.
- The penalty by the Bucs on the 51 yard field goal attempt was absolutely 100% the right call. If you try to simulate the snap, it's a penalty.
- The defense gave up over 500 total yards, again, so they are still easily on pace to shatter the NFL record for most given up yards in history. Awful.
- Marques Colston tied Dalton Hilliard for second all time in touchdowns scored with 52. He now just trails Deuce McAllister by 3 for best all time Saint.
The Saints are now 2-4 and will look for three straight against the Broncos in Denver next week!
Well, the defense did hold the bucks to under 100 yards rushing. The only positive nugget the defense could hang its hat on.
GO COLSTON! GO MORGAN! And yes Marijn we get Vitt back! I'm feeling that the Saints are on the rise... the D is improving but I wish they'd hurry up and get some consistency!!
Another up and down performance, but still it felt like the game was going our way. I guess the main difference is that our d is finally starting to stop opponents when it metters most. I very much enjoyed how robinson pushed out vjax denying a td and then very smart final play - getting williams out of the end zone and than letting him get open to finish the game! Of course, that could be just pure luck, still ended up sattisfied:) and damn Drew Brees is good!!
The best news.. Vitt comes back! Kromer can spend more time coaching the o-line. Vitt is a uy with a lot of energy to spent on the team motivating them to do a better job! Be consistent and not sparsely have brilliant moments.