The New Orleans Saints played their best half of football of the season Sunday night in taking a 31-0 halftime lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Quarterback Drew Brees was nearly perfect (18 of 23 for 189 yards) and his three touchdown passes put him back ahead on the NFL's all-time touchdown pass list. He connected with 11 receivers and delivered rookie tight end Adam Trautman his first career touchdown reception (seven yards).
Star wide receiver Michael Thomas was back with four catches for 41 yards.
Alvin Kamara was AK (1-yard touchdown run, 37 yards rushing).
Taysom Hill completed a pass, caught a pass and hurdled a Bucs defender on a 23-yard run.
And the Saints defense? That unit forced four consecutive three-and-outs by quarterback Tom Brady and the Bucs offense (which included receiver Antonio Brown for the first time) before David Onyemata intercepted Brady on the fifth possession. With 8:45 left in the second quarter, the Bucs had just 36 yards of offense. On the sixth possession, Tampa turned the ball over on downs. On the seventh, safety Marcus Williams intercepted Brady.
Returner Deonte Harty was dynamic on punt returns and Wil Lutz made his one attempt (36 yards). Thomas Morstead didn't punt.
The Saints (5-2) are trying to sweep the season series from the Bucs (6-2) and take control of the race for the NFC South.
New Orleans will get the ball to start the second half.
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints at division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.