TAMPA- For the first time in 255 career starts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady was shutout in an NFL game.
Brady was last held scoreless back in 2006 and the New Orleans Saints displayed once again that they seemingly have Tampa Bay’s number when it comes to regular season play. The Buccaneers suffered injuries to wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin along with running back Leonard Fournette in a 9-0 loss to the Saints on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Though Tampa Bay lost the game, the Buccaneers continue to hold the inside track into winning their first division championship since 2007. The Buccaneers just need either a win next week over the Carolina Panthers or a loss by the Saints to clinch the division. Tampa Bay will hit the road next week and travel to Charlotte, North Carolina to face the Panthers.
New Orleans was without head coach Sean Payton, who tested positive for Covid-19 and had to isolate. In his place as head coach was defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who masterminded once again another masterful game plan in stopping the Buccaneers’ high-octane offense led by MVP hopeful Brady. It wasn’t a pretty night passing the ball whatsoever for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Brady ended the night completing 26-of-48 passes for 214 yards, an interception and a lost fumble. To make matters worse, the Buccaneers were down to Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Jaelen Darden and tight ends Rob Gronkowski, OJ Howard and Cameron Brate as receivers. Without the services of Evans, Godwin and Antonio Brown (Brown was out due to a suspension) Brady was left with limited options in the past game.
The Saints went with a more methodical ground attack led by quarterback Taysom Hill and running back Alvin Kamara. Though New Orleans didn’t find an ample amount of success on the ground, the Saints’ were able to muster up three field goals from place kicker Brett Maher. Tampa Bay had a couple opportunities to score points, but a missed Ryan Succop field goal and the fumble by Brady wiped away any chance of points on the board.
Now Tampa Bay (10-4) will have to regroup and prepare for the final stretch of games, which includes two against the struggling Panthers and on the road versus the New York Jets.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.