The New Orleans Saints, in what has been thus far a reversal of fortunes, must be asking themselves, “What happened?” After today’s rout by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14, they be asking many more questions. The Saints, one of the most explosive offensive teams in the NFL last season, have been outscored 72-24 in their first two games this season.
The Buccaneers, depite losing the time management battle, made some big plays when they counted; two second quarter touchdown passes from Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Garcia to wide receiver Joey Galloway were a big factor in the game. Garcia finished the game, going 10-for-16 for 243 yards with 2 TD’s; also contributing were Galloway with 4 passes for 135 yards and 2 scores and running back Carnell Williams with 61 yards on the ground and 2 TD’s.
The Saints outgained the Bucs 343-330 but after abandoning their running game, made some costly turnovers, including a fumble by Saints RB Deuce McAllister and an interception by Bucs LB Cato June, which led to a score. The Saints were led by QB Drew Brees who went 26-for-44 for 260 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Saints WR Marques Colston led all Saints receivers with 70 yards on 8 catches.
Saints head coach Sean Payton’s explanation for the Saints would probably be as expected, saying, “I’m disappointed. I’m not surprised. We didn’t play well enough. It’s going to be hard to win in any game if you’re putting it on the ground, giving up big plays behind you. … We’ll get it corrected, I’m confident.” The winless Saints attempt to get their first win on Monday, September 24 at home against the Tennessee Titans while the 1-1 Buccaneers hope to add a second victory next Sunday against the 0-2 St. Louis Rams at Raymond James Stadium.