Tampa Bay took an early 14 point lead, and it was a 21-7 game early in the second quarter. They then gave up 28 straight points to the Saints high powered offense. The only way the Buccaneers would win this game is if they could win a shootout, and they came pretty damn close. However, the defense just couldn’t do enough to stop Drew Brees. Josh Freeman had one of his better games of his career, throwing for a remarkable 420 yards and 3 touchdowns. Vincent Jackson had 216 of those yards and one of the scores. The next highest receiver had just 51 yards. Doug Martin had a solid game himself with 85 yards on just 16 carries.
For how good the Bucs offense was, the defense was just terrible. Not shocking considering Tampa has one of the worst pass defenses and the Saints have the top passing offense. It was a recipe for disaster and it proved to be the case. Brees went off for 4 scores and 377 yards. He completed 73% of his passes, and made only one mistake on one pick. He lead to the Saints to 35 points in what is becoming a common occurrence in Saints games.
Both teams are now 2-4, but the Bucs record still looks a bit worse. This would have been a huge win, but they couldn’t pull it off. The offense has had back to back great weeks, but it is clear this pass defense isn’t good enough to keep them in many games. Freeman won’t play like this each week, but then again they won’t play Brees every week either. Tampa has a short week, playing on Thursday night in Minnesota. The Vikings are a surprising 5-2, so this won’t come easy. Ponder is coming off a miserable outing, so the Bucs defense actually matches up fairly well. It could be a close game, but probably far from the game we saw this Sunday.