The Saints suffered their second loss of the season in Tampa, and with it their lead of the NFC South. Give the Bucs credit, they played well, but the Saints had a clear chance to win this game and turnovers did them in. Drew Brees’ play in particular was irregular and uncharacteristic, while the defense was characteristically poor. The problem in this game was that the Saints’ offense wasn’t good enough to make up for spotty defensive play. The biggest story in this game is the injury that Sean Payton suffered on the sidelines. Jimmy Graham was driven into Sean Payton’s leg, and the injury is very serious. The combination of a leg break and a knee tear, if you can imagine that. How he’ll be able to focus on coaching a team with an injury like that is not clear. I’m sure he’ll power through but it will be a challenge.
No bullets today as breaking down the individual poor play in the player grades will be painful enough.
Final score: Tampa 26 New Orleans 20.
It’s a tough loss but it’s not devastating. Tampa needed this much more than the Saints did. I am confident this Saints team will rebound and will play better offensively. Defensively, I still have yet to see them play at anywhere close to a playoff quality level.
Stay tuned for the grades…