5 things learned from Saints’ 42-17 win over Bucs
As Drew Brees walked off the Superdome field, he held his helmet
up in celebration of the Saints’ fourth playoff berth in five
Then he hit the showers and started thinking about the week of
”Our expectation was to come here and play well and win, and we
did that,” Brees said after New Orleans’ 42-17 demolition of
struggling Tampa Bay on Sunday. ”Now it’s kind of very quickly on
to the next challenge. … You immediately are on to the next
opponent. Where are we going to go? What’s our plan? And let’s get
Indeed, it will be a quick turnaround for the Saints (11-5), who
open the postseason in Philadelphia (10-6) on Saturday night.
And while New Orleans has a better overall record than the
Eagles, the Saints have not been nearly as potent on the road,
where they went 3-5, as at home, where they were 8-0 with six
victories by 18 points or more.
”That’s how we’re supposed to play,” said receiver Lance
Moore, who caught a 44-yard touchdown pass.
Brees passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns, eclipsing 5,000
yards in a season for an unprecedented fourth time. He also ran for
a score that gave New Orleans a more than three-TD lead early in
the fourth quarter.
Aiming for a fifth win in eight games, the Bucs (4-12) stayed
with New Orleans for much of the first half, trailing only 21-14
after rookie Mike Glennon’s second scoring pass. But Tampa Bay
faded, a result that only cast further doubt on second-year coach
Greg Schiano’s future.
”I don’t think I have to say anything,” Schiano said when
asked if he expects to keep his job. ”That’s not being smug. I
come in and do my job the best that I can. That’s other people’s
Here are five things we learned from New Orleans’ drubbing of
POTENT SAINTS: Although New Orleans lost three of its last five
games and Brees was sacked a career-high 37 times this season, the
victory over the Buccaneers was a reminder of how productive the
Saints’ offense can be. New Orleans piled up more yards – 468 –
than the Bucs had allowed all season. Meanwhile, three of Brees’ TD
passes were longer than 40 yards: 76 to Kenny Stills, 44 to Moore
and 41 to Robert Meachem.
”We’re good enough to do whatever we set out to do and I think
today was a great step in the right direction in regards to
confidence and getting ready for this playoff run,” Brees
GLENNON’S POTENTIAL: Glennon is by no means a shoe-in to keep
his starting job in 2014, but against New Orleans he continued to
show flashes of potential to become a franchise quarterback. He
completed 22 passes for 219 yards and two TDs, including a
48-yarder to Tiquan Underwood on a flea-flicker.
”Mike threw a great pass and gave me a chance,” Underwood
Glennon’s other scoring pass was a 1-yard fade to Tim Wright in
the corner of the end zone.
SHUT-DOWN CORNER: In a game featuring Tampa Bay cornerback
Darrelle Revis, it was the Saints’ Keenan Lewis who stood out most
in pass coverage. While covering top Tampa Bay receiver Vincent
Jackson, Lewis made his career-high fourth interception this
season. He also helped hold Jackson to only four catches for 35
STICKING TOGETHER: After a dismal season that started 0-8 and
wound down with a three-game skid, the Buccaneers insisted that
team chemistry and leadership were not the problem.
”To be honest, when you start like we did, the year is
practically over. But as a team we all stuck together,” Revis
said. ”We knew this was our job and we had to keep fighting as a
unit and going out there and trying to win games.”
BETTER BLOCKING: Saints rookie left tackle Terron Armstead
demonstrated considerable progress from his first career start a
week ago to his second on Sunday. Unlike a week earlier, Armstead
did not allow a sack and avoided pre-snap penalties.
Brees said he spoke to Armstead on the sideline and that the
rookie told him ”it’s night and day in regards to that maturation
process and just the experience level with even just one game under
”He’s got a great group around him, so that helps, but yeah, he
did great today,” Brees added.
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