Defense does its thing
The Bucs defense forced punts on the Saints' first three possessions of the second half, including two three-and-outs, a sequence in which inside linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White led the way.

Tampa Bay needed the defense to step up then, because it was right after Brady threw a pick-six on the first drive of the half to give the Saints a 24-7 lead. David and White each had a team-high 11 tackles, and David added two tackles for a loss and one quarterback hit, providing pressure on a day in which the Bucs had just one sack of Drew Brees.

“I thought the defense played really well the whole second half, got a bunch of three-and-outs to give the offense a chance,” Arians said. “But those two guys played really, really well, but I gotta watch.”

The run defense, ranked No. 1 in the league last season, held the Saints to just 82 rushing yards as a team. Michael Thomas, who toasted the Bucs for 296 receiving yards in two meetings last season, had just 17 yards on three catches. It marked his lowest receiving yards total in 43 regular-season games, when he had 11 yards on Oct. 15, 2017.

Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 14 September 2020