How one drive set the tone in the Saints' win over Tampa Bay
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Through nearly two full quarters of Sundays game against the Buccaneers, the Saints didn't have much to show for their efforts on offense. There was the Wil Lutz field goal on their opening drive, and most of the rest of their yardage came early in the second quarter on a drive that ended early on an Alvin Kamara fumble.
But with less than three minutes until halftime, came the drive that changed everything. It was a bit of a redemption drive for Kamara, if you will. It began at the Saints' own seven yard line, their worst starting field position of the game, but the rookie running back quickly got them out of the hole with a 17 yard screen pass. A few plays later, they went to Kamara again on third down to pick up the first.
But following the two-minute warning came a play that nearly derailed all of the building momentum. Drew Brees hangs on to the ball a bit too long in the pocket and loses it on the Robert Ayers Jr sack. However, it's recovered by center Max Unger, and all is OK. The next two snaps set the tone for the rest of the contest.
"The scramble play to Coby (Fleener)," says Brees. "Then the screen play to Kamara. Those are two huge plays to get us the touchdown."
"It was huge," says Kamara. "We got a lot of momentum coming off of that drive. We got a lot of energy. The sideline was hype."
As the team said after the game, that drive was the spark they needed to put the Bucs away for good.
"To come out on the first drive of the second half, touchdown, defense gets a turnover, touchdown," says Brees. "That blows the whole thing wide open. So you're just able to grab momentum and run with it."
That said, though, just about every head coach would tell you that you can't take points into next week. But after shaky offensive showings in Green Bay and then last week against the Bears, you have to believe that the Saints take at least a little momentum from today's offensive outburst against the Bucs into Buffalo to face the Bills on Sunday.
They can't afford to start slow against a Bills team that will has extra time to prepare for them after a Thursday night loss to the Jets.
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