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Saints Buc' Up, Eke Out OT Win 37-31 v. Tampa

A 1 and 3 Saints came home to the dome today looking for a turnaround win in the comfort of home. They had the right opponent: the equally woeful (1 and 3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game was sloppy, both teams looked poor, and again the Saints found themselves battling in overtime again. This time the Black ’n Gold eked out a 37 to 31 win, but did not make the statement that was needed.


The Saints defense continued to have problems tackling and covering receivers. Patrick Robinson delivered a small piece of penance but ultimately could the scoreboard told the tale.


Rookie Brandin Cooks continued to look like the real deal. The wide receiver caught 9 passes for 56 yards. He also ran twice for 15 yards.


An old fan favorite, Pierre Thomas contributed even more. His 77 yards on 8 catches included a key touchdown. His 35 yards on the ground also came at the right time.


Mark Ingram was still missed, but Khiry Robinson contributed 89 rushing yards 21 attempts including the game winning touchdown.


Brees continued his string of mixed appearances. He had 3 key turnovers,with 2 touchdowns. He logged 371 yards completing 35 of 57. 


The game started brightly for the Saints. With thundering WhoDats raising the decibel levels in the stadium, the Saints jumped to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. After two field goals, the faithful were thrilled to see Pierre Thomas catch a Brees touchdown pass.


However, Tampa then proceeded to score 24 unanswered points. Two of the touchdowns resulted from Brees’ interceptions In the midst of the run, favorite target Jimmy Graham went down with a shoulder injury. There was no word on his condition at press-time.


Finally, in the third quarter, Brees was back. The Saints drove 63 yards on 12 yards before the QB hit Travaris Cadet for a touchdown.


However, the Bucs came back quickly driving 81 yards on 10 plays to put up another 7 points. The game was looking dire and the the dome was getting quiet, but the place got loud when Thomas sprinted 27 yards for 6 points. Payton opted to attempt a two point conversion, but a short pass to Ben Watson yielded nothing.


Rob Ryan’s men woke up on the next drive. A series of penalties left Tampa pinned at their own goal. Then Junior Galette stepped up and delivered a safety to make it 31-28 Bucs.


Troubled kicker Shayne Graham delivered at the right time hitting a 44 yarder to tie it up at 31 All with 2:30 left play.


The Saints soon found themselves with the ball back and drove to the Tampa 49 yard line. Just when the tide seemed to have turned Brees through another interception.The game headed to overtime seconds later.


The Saints won the toss and received the ball. A combination of short passes and rushes eventually gave them the game However, the team did not look pretty getting to the win. There will be many questions to answer as the Saints prepare for next year’s matchup against the Detroit Lions.

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Erin Rose
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