|Other Week 13 Game Recaps|
|ARI at PHI||ATL at SD||BAL at CIN||CAR at GB||CHI at MIN||DEN at NYJ||IND at CLE||JAX at HOU|
|KC at OAK||MIA at STL||NO at TB||NYG at WAS||PIT at NE||SEA at DAL||SF at BUF||TEN at DET|
Week 13 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
What you need to know
|New Orleans Saints|
In a game with poor weather conditions that included tornado warnings and heavy rain at times, the Saints struck first with a Garrett Hartley field goal from 47 yards out to take an early 3-0 lead. Following two Tampa Bay field goals, New Orleans came back before halftime as Drew Brees connected with WR Lance Moore from 13 yards out to take a 10-6 lead into the break.
The Saints defense gave up two third quarter touchdowns, but were bailed out by their offense, which came back to rattle off ten fourth quarter points to tie the game. Pierre Thomas scored on a 20 yard pass play and Hartley added another field goal that would be the last score of the game for the Saints.
QB Drew Brees threw three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter, that laid to rest any hopes the Saints had at winning the game.
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
Tampa Bay got just two Matt Bryant field goals in the first half and trailed 10-6 at the break. In the third quarter, RB Cadillac Williams sparked the team with an eight yard touchdown run and WR Antonio Bryant caught a 39 yard touchdown pass from Garcia as the Buccaneers doubled up the Saints 20-10.
The Tampa Bay defense gave up a score on a big 11 play, 82 yard drive as Pierre Thomas scored from 20 yards out and after another Hartley field goal the score was tied at 20 apiece. After DB Jermaine Phillips came up with a big interception, Tampa Bay scored on a 37 yard Matt Bryant field goal at the two minute warning to take the lead 23-20. The Buccaneers defense came up big again on the next series, as DB Philip Buchanon intercepted Brees for his third of the day. Tampa Bay ran out the clock and came away with a big divisional win.
What you ought to know
|QB Drew Brees, Pass: 25 - 47 - 296 - 2 TD / 3 INT|
Against a stingy Tampa Bay defense, Drew Brees did his normal thing. He finished 25 of 47 for 296 yards and two scores. Brees connected with WR Lance Moore on a 13 yard scoring play and later hit Pierre Thomas for a 20 yard scoring play. On the negative side, he did throw three interceptions, one of which came in the red zone on a play intended for TE Jeremy Shockey, and two others that came in the crucial fourth quarter. The weather conditions were definitely a factor with the Saints passing game, where their receivers had a number of key drops due to the weather.
|RB Pierre Thomas, Rush: 11 - 34 - 0, Rec: 1 - 20 - 1 (1 targets)|
Thomas led New Orleans in rushing with 11 carries for 34 yards and had a long run of just nine yards. His big impact came in the passing game, where he had a 20 yard touchdown reception on his only target of the game.
|RB Reggie Bush, Rush: 3 - 0 - 0, Rec: 5 - 32 - 0 (11 targets)|
Reggie Bush returned for the Saints, but had a minimal impact on the game. He had just three rushes for zero yards and finished with five receptions for 32 yards on 11 targets in the passing game.
|RB Deuce McAllister, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets)|
McAllister played sparingly and finished with three rushes for 13 yards on the ground and one reception for three yards on his only target of the game.
|WR Marques Colston, Rec: 6 - 106 - 0 (12 targets)|
Colston finished as the most targeted New Orleans receiver, with 12, and totaled six receptions for 106 yards. Four of his targets came on third downs.
|WR Devery Henderson, Rush: 1 - -3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (3 targets)|
Henderson finished with two receptions for 33 yards on three targets.
|WR Lance Moore, Rec: 2 - 15 - 1 (6 targets)|
Moore was targeted six times and came down with two receptions for 15 yards, including a 13 yard touchdown reception.
|TE Jeremy Shockey, Rec: 4 - 52 - 0 (9 targets)|
Shockey was targeted nine times and finished with four receptions for 52 yards.
|PK Garrett Hartley 2 - 2 FG, 2 - 2 XP, 8 points|
Hartley connected from 47 and 43 yard out and added two extra points to finish with eight points in the game.
|NO Rush Defense|
New Orleans gave up 149 rushing yards on 34 attempts, for a 4.4 ypc average. Included in that was an eight yard rushing touchdown by Tampa Bay RB Cadillac Williams. For the game, they managed just one tackle for loss and gave up two fourth down conversion attempts.
LB Scott Shanle led the Saints with eight solo tackles, two assists and a sack, and LB Scott Fujita added six solo tackles and two assists of his own. Jonathan Vilma also chipped in with six solos, one assist, a sack and two forced fumbles.
|NO Pass Defense|
The Saints pass defense played well against Tampa Bay. They allowed just 105 net passing yards, sacked Jeff Garcia four times and held the Buccaneers to just two of 15 on third downs. Some of that could be attributed to the weather conditions, but their defensive unit still made plays when they had to. They did allow one score through the air, but for the game forced Garcia to complete just nine of 23 attempts.
DE Bobby McCray had two solo tackles and two sacks for the Saints.
|QB Jeff Garcia, Pass: 9 - 23 - 119 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 42 - 0|
Garcia had another gritty outing, and in tough weather conditions, threw for 119 yards on nine of 23 passing and adding another 42 yards rushing on seven carries. He connected with WR Antonio Bryant on a 39 yard touchdown pass for Tampa Bay's lone big play in the passing game. He did have one fumble, but the ball was recovered by the Buccaneers.
|RB Warrick Dunn, Rush: 22 - 74 - 0 (1 targets)|
Dunn carried the load in the running game with 22 carries for 74 yards. He was only used sparingly in the passing game where he did not record a reception on just one target.
|RB Cadillac Williams, Rush: 4 - 20 - 1|
Williams was thought to be looking for a bigger role but he gave way to Warrick Dunn. Williams contributed in the rushing attack for the Buccaneers and totaled four rushes for 20 yards, including an eight yard rushing touchdown.
|WR Antonio Bryant, Rush: 1 - 13 - 0, Rec: 3 - 63 - 1 (10 targets)|
Bryant was the most targeted Tampa Bay receiver, with ten looks, and he finished with three receptions for 63 yards that included a 39 yard touchdown reception. Seven of his targets came on third downs.
|WR Michael Clayton, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets)|
Clayton was targeted four times and finished with three receptions for 29 yards. He did lose a fumble on one of his receptions, where New Orleans LB Jonathan Vilma ripped the ball away from Clayton following the catch.
|WR Joey Galloway (1 targets)|
Galloway played and had just one target, but failed to record a reception.
|TE Jerramy Stevens, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (2 targets)|
Stevens caught two passes for 21 yards, both on third down targets.
|PK Matt Bryant 3 - 3 FG, 2 - 2 XP, 11 points|
Bryant connected from 38, 23 and 37 yards out and added two extra points to finish with 11 points in the game.
|TB Rush Defense|
Tampa Bay completely shut down the Saints rushing attack, as they allowed just 44 yards on 18 attempts, for just a 2.4 ypc average. They had three tackles for loss, including a key fourth down conversion attempt, and allowed just three rushing first downs for the game.
LB Barrett Ruud led the way with nine solo tackles and an assist and Derrick Brooks chipped in with five solos to lead the defense.
|TB Pass Defense|
The Buccaneers gave up the bulk of their yardage in pass defense, where the Saints threw for 288 net yards and two scores. They allowed 14 passing first down plays and New Orleans was successful on five of 13 third downs. However, they had one sack and picked off three Brees pass attempts, one of which came in the end zone and two others in the fourth quarter that helped preserve the win.
DB Ronde Barber had a strong game with seven solo tackles and tipped a ball on one of the interceptions. DB Jermaine Phillips returned with six solo tackles, two assists and a pick and DB Phillip Buchanon chipped in with Tampa Bay's other interception.