NFL: The Saints march into Tampa and shock the Bucs with a shut out!
Tampa, Florida - The New Orleans Saints proved yet again that they are no pushovers in the NFL, shocking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and keeping their playoff hopes alive.
The Saints shut out the Bucs 9-0 for their second-straight win, snapping Tampa’s four-game winning streak in the process.
This was the lowest-scoring win in any game across the league so far this season.
The defending Super Bowl champs had the 2021 NFC South title in their sights and all they had to do was beat the Saints in this game.
But they just couldn’t get things going from the start and the Saints did just enough in the first half with field goals in both the first and second quarters to go into halftime up 6-0.
The Saints defense stayed sharp in the second half as Tampa showed no signs of a recovery, despite having numerous chances to get back into the game.
Two turnovers by the Bucs definitely didn’t help their cause either as time ticked away and an upsetting shutout became reality by night’s end.
The player spotlight
New Orleans’ 11-year defensive end Cameron Jordan (32) had the biggest effect against the Bucs offense on Sunday night.
He was constantly after Tom Brady on every passing play, forcing enough pressure that kept Tampa’s game plan constantly off-balance.
Apart from physically hitting Brady in the game, Jordan also hit a personal milestone by notching his 100th career sack.
He finished the night with five total tackles, including three quarterback hits and two sacks.
The big picture
The Bucs had a chance on Sunday night to win their first NFC South title since 2007, but the Saints were having no part of it. Instead, New Orleans became the only team in Tom Brady’s 22-year career to have swept him during the regular season, doing it twice in 2020 and now in 2021.
It was also the first time since 2006 that a team with Brady in it got shut out. Back then, his New England Patriots got torched 21-0 by the Dolphins, yet Sunday's case was somehow worse, given that the opposition scored no touchdowns on offense.
It was pretty clear by the end of the game that the Bucs offense couldn’t get a thing done shorn of their main weapons. Three of Brady's best options, running back Leonard Fournette, as well as wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, are out with injuries.
The Saints have now showed the rest of the league how to beat the shorthanded Bucs, which makes the recovery of those three players all the more pressing.
Next Monday night, the Saints (7-7) will be back at home to host the Dolphins (7-7) while next Sunday, the Bucs (10-4) will be on the road to play against the Panthers (5-9).
Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire