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Turning Point of the Game

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Demario Davis interception provided the first big blow for New Orleans Saints against Tampa Bay

His first interception since 2013 led to a touchdown, and triggered the Saints' run in 34-17 victory

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Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 11 of the 2019 NFL season.

In the context of game time, 10 seconds elapsed.

In terms of impact, it was worth 10 tons for the New Orleans Saints in their 34-17 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., because that's a fair approximation of the amount of weight the Saints dropped on the Buccaneers during those precious ticks off the clock at the end of the first quarter.

With the Saints leading 6-0 and the Bucs probably looking to do little more than improve their field position on second-and-10 at their 16-yard line with 10 seconds left in the first, quarterback Jameis Winston connected with tight end O.J. Howard on a shallow crossing route.

Nothing major. Not a home run attempt. Just a chance to give the athletic Howard an opportunity to make a catch and run, perhaps make a defender miss, and give the Bucs some room entering the second quarter.

But Howard didn't just bobble the pass. Somehow, he juggled it until it was behind him, on his back and not the least bit secured, when he was met by Saints safety Marcus Williams. And Williams' tackle was perfect – at least, in terms of separating Howard from the ball, and forcing it to pop up in the air as the two tumbled to the turf.

That was the golden opportunity that Saints linebacker Demario Davis needed. Because Davis, who was closing on the play, then turned his attention to the floating football, which he snatched from the air and then tumbled over the bodies in front of him, giving the Saints possession and first down at the Tampa Bay 16-yard line, with three seconds left in the quarter.

On the next play, Drew Brees threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas. The Saints led 13-0, and their lead never dipped below 10 the rest of the way.

Davis' interception – the second of his career and his first since Nov. 2, 2013, when he picked off Brees as a member of the New York Jets – was the first of four interceptions for the Saints on Sunday. But his was the one that provided the early spark that helped New Orleans establish control.

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