Buccaneers erupt for 20-10 victory in Saints’ home opener
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An angry Tom Brady broke a tie with a 28-yard touchdown pass and Saints quarterback Jameis Winston threw three fourth-quarter interceptions Sunday (Sept. 18), as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spoiled New Orleans’ home opener with a 20-10 victory at the Caesars Superdome.
Brady hit Breshad Perriman with a 28-yard touchdown strike midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Bucs their first lead of the game, breaking a 3-3 tie with 7:49 left in the game. Tampa’s go-ahead drive was kept alive by two questionable penalties against the Saints’ defense.
But the Saints could not overcome their own mistakes, which included four late turnovers. Winston was picked off on three consecutive fourth-quarter possessions, the third interception returned 68 yards for a touchdown by Mike Edwards.
The Saints had been on the verge of seizing control of the game before another costly turnover in the final 80 seconds of the third quarter.
Mark Ingram, pressed into a starting role at running back after Alvin Kamara (rib cartilage) was ruled out before the game, fumbled away a chance for a go-ahead touchdown when he was stripped of the ball at the Bucs’ 10-yard-line with 1:19 left in the quarter.
The simmering bad blood between the teams boiled over again a couple of minutes later. Two frequent foils -- Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans -- were ejected from the game after a fourth-quarter scuffle sparked by Lattimore and Brady jawing at each other with 12:49 to play.
The teams mustered only two field goals through the first three quarters. Wil Lutz gave the Saints a 3-0 lead with a 31-yard kick with 9:06 left in the first quarter. Tampa Bay’s Ryan Succop tied the game when he converted a 47-yard attempt with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
Succop added a second field goal, from 47 yards out, with 5:55 left in the fourth. That came after Winston’s second interception and put Tampa Bay up 13-3. Winston was playing through a back injury that includes four fractured vertebrae, according to Fox Sports NFL reporter Jay Glazer.
After the pick six, Winston regained composure enough to find Michael Thomas with a 7-yard TD pass with 3:07 to play, drawing the Saints within 20-10.
The victory was Brady’s first over the Saints in five regular-season games since joining the Buccaneers in 2020. Brady also defeated the Saints with Tampa Bay in a January 2021 playoff game.
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