The Saints saw their six-game winning streak end against the Falcons last Sunday, but there won’t be a losing streak in New Orleans.
The Saints moved out to a 20-0 lead in the first half and Marcus Williams returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown with just over five minutes to play to take any remaining suspense out of the air in Tampa. The 34-17 win moves New Orleans to 8-2 on the season and they’ll continue a four-game NFC South swing with a home game against the Panthers next Sunday.
Each of the Saints’ biggest offensive stars had a hand in the win. Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes on his way to going 28-of-35 for 228 yards for the day. Wide receiver Michael Thomas caught one of those scores and had eight catches for 114 yards overall. Running back Alvin Kamara had 75 rushing yards, 47 receiving yards and a 27-yard punt return in his strongest game in some time.
Cameron Jordan led an impressive Saints pass rush on the other side of the ball. He ended the day with 1.5 sacks and four of the 12 quarterback hits the New Orleans defense racked up over the course of the afternoon. Jameis Winston absorbed those hits while going 30-of-51 for 313 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions, including one in the end zone with 2:45 left to play.
The Bucs didn’t do much to help Winston out with a run game as they only tried eight running plays all afternoon. That lack of balance did nothing to slow down the pass rush and Winston rolling his ankle on one of those hits didn’t do anything to help his cause.
Tampa is now 3-7 and they’ll be in Atlanta next weekend for a game against the suddenly hot Falcons. A loss would push them into last place in the NFC South and make their decision about how to move forward at quarterback about the only thing of consequence in the remaining weeks.