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Bucs hold on to beat Saints, pull even in NFC South

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

They’re all tied up atop the NFC South.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hung tough to beat the New Orleans Saints 26-20, leaving both teams at 4-2 and tied for first place in the NFC South. It was an impressive showing from the Buccaneers, who took a 20-7 lead in the second quarter and held on as the Saints attempted a furious second-half rally, ultimately winning 26-20.

The Saints’ last, best chance fell short when Drew Brees threw an interception in the end zone in the game’s closing minutes — the third interception of the day for Brees, who had 383 passing yards and became the first quarterback in NFL history to top 350 yards in four straight games. Turnovers were a huge problem for the Saints, who also had lost fumbles by Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas.

Tampa Bay got a huge game from Josh Freeman, who completed 23 of 41 passes for 303 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. And running back Earnest Graham was outstanding, carrying 17 times for 109 yards when pressed into the starting lineup to replace the injured LeGarrette Blount.

And so the Buccaneers, just a week after getting embarrassed by the 49ers, now look like a playoff team. Things change fast in the NFL, and the Buccaneers turned things around in a hurry.

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32 Responses to “Bucs hold on to beat Saints, pull even in NFC South”
  1. trbowman says: Oct 16, 2011 7:35 PM

    I called Mark Ingram overrated and for good reason. He’s nothing special. He can hit a hole, that’s about it.

  2. trbowman says: Oct 16, 2011 7:36 PM

    And it’s a crime that Darren Sproles got only one carry (that went for 16 yards). He’s their most explosive player.

  3. chowincowan says: Oct 16, 2011 7:38 PM

    Sean Payton seems like a total D-bag. I dont like to see people get hurt, but if I had to pick a coach for this to happen to…

  4. seneca1ss says: Oct 16, 2011 7:38 PM

    Who Dat………Go Bucs (1st Place)

  5. silkyjohnson937 says: Oct 16, 2011 7:43 PM

    The bucs are technically a half game ahead since they beat the saints everybody always bashes the bucs but they lost to the lions and niners which look to me like two good teams, and the bucs beat two of the medias predicted playoff teams the falcons and saints nice to see the bucs respond from last weeks demolishing with a big win

  6. kashonly says: Oct 16, 2011 7:45 PM

    Why isn’t Lloyd a good fit for New Orleans? Meach, Hendy and Moore…4 catches? Grats Bucs, ya’ll needed that one :(

  7. saintxliv says: Oct 16, 2011 7:48 PM

    Amazing the game was that close, with 4 turnovers and no coach for the Saints.

    And Ingram did not have a fumble. Pierre had one and Brees had 3 INTs.

  8. peed1 says: Oct 16, 2011 7:49 PM

    Stay east of the Mississippi

  9. geauxjay says: Oct 16, 2011 7:56 PM

    The pass to Briscoe hit the ground.

    FACT

  10. robertlseverson says: Oct 16, 2011 7:56 PM

    There has to be a reason that Sproles wasn’t part of the gameplan.

    Perhaps he, alone is responsible for keeping Coach Payton’s shins attached to his knees?

  11. grudenthediva says: Oct 16, 2011 8:01 PM

    Last year it was “oh the Saints pulled their starters in the 3rd so it didn’t count.”

    Now the Bucs have two starters out and still win. Go ahead and come up with an excuse now.

  12. axespray says: Oct 16, 2011 8:02 PM

    power rankings are gonna look messed up.

    49ers beat lions & bucs, bucs beat saints, patriots squeek by cowboys, giants beat bills, texans lose…bengals are 4-2. eagles beat redskins…

    this is a weird season….

  13. gameover715 says: Oct 16, 2011 8:15 PM

    axespray says: Oct 16, 2011 8:02 PM

    power rankings are gonna look messed up.

    49ers beat lions & bucs, bucs beat saints, patriots squeek by cowboys, giants beat bills, texans lose…bengals are 4-2. eagles beat redskins…

    this is a weird season….

    Except for the team at the top of all the Power Rankings. The Packers look like they are a level ahead of every other team right now.

  14. richm2256 says: Oct 16, 2011 8:22 PM

    “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hung tough to beat the New Orleans Saints 26-20″
    ———————————————————

    And somehow, the Saints will move up to #1 in the Power Rankings.

  15. raideralex99 says: Oct 16, 2011 8:28 PM

    Brees 3 picks???
    Maybe the Saints should stop faring around sign Bees to a long deal.

  16. mdd913 says: Oct 16, 2011 8:30 PM

    Briscoe’s catch did hit the ground.

    But it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. Saints defense was embarassing today. You couldn’t stop them on a damn 3rd-and-14 with the game on the line after they gifted you a false start?

    This Saints team will probably win 11 or so games but they are a non-factor come playoff time. I am disgusted right now.

  17. umbf says: Oct 16, 2011 9:01 PM

    Doesn’t matter if Briscoe’s catch hit the ground or not. The ball is allowed to touch the ground as long as the ball does not move when it touches (meaning the ground can’t help a player get possession and he has to maintain possession). The play was reviewed and the refs said that the call was confirmed.

  18. corndogluv says: Oct 16, 2011 9:09 PM

    geauxjay says:Oct 16, 2011 7:56 PM

    The pass to Briscoe hit the ground.

    FACT
    ——————————————————————————————————————–with both arms around it and that’s a catch. fact The Bert Emanuel rule.

  19. mdd913 says: Oct 16, 2011 9:12 PM

    Last year it was “oh the Saints pulled their starters in the 3rd so it didn’t count.”

    Now the Bucs have two starters out and still win. Go ahead and come up with an excuse now.

    ——————————————————————-

    ROFL. Are you really trying to compare a game in which the Saints pulled starters because they had already clinched a playoff spot to this one?

    Good win for the Bucs. Don’t get carried away. If Sean Payton didn’t spend the second half watching the game on a TV in the visitor’s locker room things may very well have ended differently.

    I’m not saying, I’m just sayin’.

  20. buclight says: Oct 16, 2011 9:14 PM

    @geauxjay
    It doesn’t matter that the ball hit the ground, the ball did not move as a result of it doing so, nor was it use to secure the ball. Which is why the original call of complete was upheld.
    FACT

  21. geniusfan says: Oct 16, 2011 9:16 PM

    The Bucs match up very well with the Saints I truly believe they have their number and that’s exactly why I picked Tampa to win this game.

    I think they have won the last two in the SuperDome as well so the Saints better be ready unless they want to go the wildcard route again.

  22. buclight says: Oct 16, 2011 9:16 PM

    Fun fact, it was the Bucs in the playoffs that made this rule ala Bert Emanuel’s catch that wasn’t against the rams

  23. snookau says: Oct 16, 2011 9:40 PM

    There isn’t a whinier group of fans in the NFL than Saints fans. Using the Sean Peyton injury as an excuse? Wow. What a joke.

    And I have an unrelated question… why did the Saints waste a 1st round pick on Ingram? He gets like 10 carries a game. I don’t get it. Its like the Falcons trading up to take Julio Jones… You don’t need to draft a #2 RB or a #2 WR in the 1st round.

    Move over Saints and Falcons. You’re time is done.

  24. mdd913 says: Oct 16, 2011 10:40 PM

    Using the Sean Peyton injury as an excuse? Wow. What a joke.

    ————————————————————–

    You do know that Payton calls all the offensive plays right? You seriously don’t see how that could possibly have had an impact?

    There are excuses, and there are reasons. Don’t confuse the two.

  25. akasaintsbaby says: Oct 16, 2011 10:44 PM

    No fans whining here. The defense played horrible and the offense sucked so they got beat. Simple as that. It was a regular season game so it’s not a big deal. They will bounce back.

  26. akasaintsbaby says: Oct 16, 2011 10:47 PM

    snookau says:
    Oct 16, 2011 9:40 PM

    Move over Saints and Falcons. You’re time is done.

    ————————————–

    That is a hilarious statement.

  27. steviaquinn says: Oct 16, 2011 11:48 PM

    LMAO.

    The saints have the biggest dirt bag QB is Drew Bress that tried to cut special deals for himself while “representing the players”. The guy no worse than his grifter mother. Then you got a drug addict , Sean Payton running the team. For a ” legit” excuse to get prescribed his precious Vicodin, he goes down. Payton is a junkie.

    Also , Sean Payton’s best friend is a Felon. FACT.

  28. urteamsux52 says: Oct 16, 2011 11:52 PM

    my BUCS jeresy name plate says URTEAMSUX BECAUSE OF SAINT FANS WITH THAT STUPID CHANT WHO DAT amd the spelling geuax however its spelled sorry for gumbo to come from there the only good thing to come from there chicks look like dudes

  29. mdd913 says: Oct 17, 2011 3:03 AM

    Sean Payton seems like a total D-bag. I dont like to see people get hurt, but if I had to pick a coach for this to happen to…

    ——————————————————————-

    The only “d-bag” here is you.

    Sean Payton has won a Superbowl, is generally considered one of the NFL’s elite coaches, and called plays for half a game with A DAMN BROKEN LEG.

    What the hell have you ever done, keyboard warrior?

  30. bucwild05 says: Oct 17, 2011 10:52 AM

    So, besides the 49ers game where the Bucs looked like absolute poop, I have seen a lot out of the Bucs young squad.

    Many doubters/haters on the Bucs, from the blame of an easy schedule last year, to the they don’t spend enough, to the Josh Freeman is over rated, to the Bucs are moving to L.A. Or London, to the “it wasn’t a catch”, to the Coach has a broken leg, to the they are too young etc.

    One thing is true: The Bucs are #1 in their division.

    I am glad that T-Jack is back, and he had a good game, and as much as you doubters of the Bucs would not agree with me…..

    YOU are watching the start of a dynasty! FACT! Young, young team, talent all over the place, and no overpriced “big name” players, Look familiar? This is just like what the Patriots did, and everyone doubted what the Pats did back then when they threw in this kid named Tom Brady. Bucs will win 3 Superbowls before 2020, mark it down! Go Bucs!

  31. nolarules says: Oct 17, 2011 11:28 AM

    Congrats to the Bucs
    They played a great game without two of their best players and beat what some consider an elite team. Even being a Saints fan, I am not part of that group that sees this team as elite. Defense has been an issue for years and seems to only be getting worse. Not sure why anyone, including those delusional commentators, think that Williams is a great defensive coach. He has been coordinator of this group for a long time now and none of his defenses have been worth much of anything. Seemed like every third and long the Bucs faced, they just ate up the Saints D. Great game by the Bucs. Time to see how the Saints respond to this defeat. Will see if this is a good team or an also ran in the next few weeks as the Saints will get another shot at the Bucs three weeks from now in the Superdome. Definitely not an elite team but hopefully will prove themselves to be a good one.

  32. akasaintsbaby says: Oct 18, 2011 9:20 PM

    Saints defense is horrrible again. I can’t wait to get a new dc. Thet can’t stop the run and are letting recievers run free with nobody within 15 yards. They didn’t pressure Freeman at any point in the game even with an all out blitz. Time for Williams to go….

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