New Orleans leads the series against Tampa Bay 25-17. The Saints are coming off of a season sweep against the Buccaneers in 2012, including a 41-0 win on December 16 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which was the club’s first shutout since 1995. Earlier in the season on October 21, the Saints escaped Tampa with a 35-28 win.
The Saints were solid in their season debut against the Atlanta Falcons in week one, erasing a 17-13 third quarter deficit and holding on to a dramatic 23-17 win with a successful goal line stand on Atlanta’s last offensive drive, which ended with an interception by S
Sean Payton opened his seventh season as head coach of the Saints with solid performances in all three phases of the game. Under the guidance of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, the Saints’ newly-implemented 3-4 scheme forced two turnovers, one that led to a touchdown and one that clinched the win. Harper led the way defensively for the Saints with the pick and a fumble recovery, as he became the first Saint to record an interception and fumble recovery in the same contest since 2002. The Saints defense allowed the Falcons to convert on only three-of-11 third down attempts.
An efficient and balanced offense put up 419 total net yards, while successfully converting six-of-13 third down attempts. QB
On special teams, K
The Buccaneers opened the season with a last-second 18-17 loss at the New York Jets. A stingy Buccaneers defense allowed only 304 total net yards, but a costly 15-yard personal foul on New York’s last drive, put the Jets in position for a game-winning field goal. Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman completed 15-of-31 passes for 210 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin led the Buccaneers with 65 yards rushing, while WR Vincent Jackson dominated in the passing game with seven receptions for 154 yards. LB Mason Foster led the defense with eight tackles and two sacks.