NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As they headed to their locker room yesterday, the victorious Tampa Bay Bucs were yelling, "Four more! Four more!" As Saints fans exited the Mercedes-Benz Superdome yesterday, some were probably muttering the same thing: "Four more. Four more."
Winners of three of their last four, the Bucs are making a run at a wild card berth over the final quarter of the season. Losers of their last four, the Saints' goals over the final quarter of the season are far more modest.
One might be avoiding being swept by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks this season. Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Marcus Mariota have all strafed the Saints secondary in victory. And on Sunday, Jameis Winston, like Cam Newton yesterday, can go two-for-two against them this season.
Like Newton yesterday, Winston has a similar skill set. He's rushed for five touchdowns this season and his third and 19 scramble for a first down on the Bucs' game-winning drive yesterday could be a season-defining highlight.
It would be hard to choose a season-defining lowlight for the Saints. You could probably select any of the five touchdown passes thrown against them yesterday as defenders look at each other incredulously after another easy score.
With a quarter of the season remaining, the Saints have surrendered 35 touchdown passes - five off the NFL record that the Saints seem certain to eclipse.
The Bucs have four more games to get it done. Four more. Four more.
The Saints have four more games to have it done. Four more. Four more.
It has been a long time since the Saints were in the spoiler's role in a late season meeting between these two division rivals. But here we are, and there they are with four more games to go.