Bucs fall in South showdown to Saints
Abbey Radeka, Florida Football Insiders, published 7 October 2019

After upsetting the Rams and matching their franchise single-game scoring record, the Bucs had a tall task in taking down New Orleans in the Superdome. Unfortunately, they were unable to replicate last weeks offensive performance, and fell to their division rival, unable to control the either side of line of scrimmage.

Coming off of his NFC Player of the Week performance, Jameis Winston threw for just 204 yards, and Mike Evans was completely shut down by Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. This is the first game he’s gone without a reception since the Bucs faced the Saints, of all teams, in 2015.

The Bucs elected to receive the kickoff, and neither team could get anything going as the first three drives of the game resulted in punts. The Saints garnered some momentum first, and moved the ball 53 yards down the field for a 29 yard field goal, putting them up 3-0. The Bucs still had no response of offense and put up another 3 and out. However, Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater threw his first New Orleans career interception allowing the Tampa Bay to grab a touchdown in just 2 plays, giving them their only lead for the game at 7-3.

Bridgewater responded with a 75 yard drive down the field for a touchdown, and the Bucs could only produce a field goal in return, tying the game up at 10-10. The Bucs took a hit with a targeting call on CB Carlton Davis. After he was ejected from the game, it became very difficult for the Bucs secondary to cover the pass so on the Saints next drive Bridgewater found tight end Jared Cook in the end zone to put New Orleans up 17-10 at the half.

The Saints came out strong in the second half, and put the game up by two scores by going 75 yards downfield three plays for another TD. On the next drive, Tampa Bay also went for 75 yards a TB as running back Peyton Barber found his way into the end zone after 17 plays. They cut the Saints lead to 7 with a score of 24-17.

Both teams stalled offensively as the game clock was running down. However, Bridgewater threw his 4th TD of and second of the game to receiver Michael Thomas (photo above) and put them back up by two scores. Thomas finished with a tremendous 11 catch 182 yard day on the Tampa Bay secondary.

The Bucs were unable to respond, and the O Line allowed Winston to be sacked four times in the fourth quarter. With about two minutes left in the game on their last drive, where Winston connected with Godwin for a score with only 13 seconds left in the game, and little chance for a Buccaneer victory. After an unsuccessful onside kick attempt from Tampa Bay, Bridgewater took a knee and and took home the 31-24 victory in his third unbeaten game as the Saints starting QB.