Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lose At Home To The New Orleans Saints (Rock Riley)

Saints Dominate The Bucs, But Tampa Bay Can Still Win The NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lose At Home To The New Orleans Saints (Rock Riley)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lose At Home To The New Orleans Saints (Rock Riley)

TAMPA, Fla. – The Saints dominated the Bucs in every facet of the game, curtailing the Buc’s plans for celebrating an NFC title.

Behind two first-half touchdown passes by Derek Carr, New Orleans had a 17-0 halftime lead and rolled to a 23-13 victory. Bucs head coach Todd Bowles was honest. 

“We stunk it up as coaches, we stunk it up as players,” Bowles said. “We didn’t play up to our standard. We’re trying to win a division, and we didn’t win one.”

Read: Rock Riley: Heisman Trophy Winner 3X Greg Cup Winner/MVP, Pro Bowler Doug Flutie

If the Bucs won, they would have clinched another divisional title. They’ve been playing must-win games for the past couple of weeks and didn’t seem to come out with a sense of urgency.

“We know we have to win next week (against the Panthers),” Bowles said. We weren’t trying to bring it to next week. We didn’t win the one today. We’ve got to be ready to execute.” 

The Saints scored on their first possession, with Carr hitting Juwan Johnson for a four-yard touchdown. In the second quarter, it was Carr to Taysom Hill from 22 yards out to make it 14-0. The Saints would add two field goals from Blake Groupe to make it 20-0, and the Bucs had no answers. Tampa Bay QB Baker Mayfield did come through in the second half with two touchdown passes, one to Trey Palmer, the other to Chris Godwin but, it wasn’t nearly enough.

“It was just one of those days where nothing seemed to be going right,” Mayfield said. “It was one of those days that you look at it and see the things that went wrong and alright, we’ve gotta get it fixed.”

Carr went 24 of 32 in the air for 208 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Even with running back Alvin Kamara leaving with an injury the Saints still rushed for 108 yards.

“You’ve got to give them (Saints) they’re props,” linebacker Lavonte David said. “They won the game. But at the end of the day, we didn’t play our best on both sides of the ball. We came out very flat.”

“We were off-kilter from the start,” Bowles said. “They (Saints) did a good job creating turnovers. They did what they were supposed to do, and we didn’t.”

Mayfield took a shot to the ribs at the end of the game and said it’s too early to tell how he’ll be for next Sunday, but he’s optimistic.

“It’ll get easier through the week,” Mayfield said. “The first few days are always the worst. I’ve had a few broken ribs here and there. Nothing showed to that extent as of right now.”

The Bucs still have a shot at winning the NFC South if they can beat the Carolina Panthers Sunday back at Raymond James Stadium.

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