The offenses ruled the first half Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome until a big play by the Tampa Bay defense gave the Buccaneers a 31-24 lead at halftime of the season opener.
The Buccaneers, led by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, scored on a 58-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, a 3-yard Fitzpatrick scramble, a 9-yard pass to Chris Godwin and a 33-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro. The Bucs gained their lead when Saints running back Mike Gillislee fumbled and it was returned by Justin Evans 34 yards for a touchdown with 4:27 to play in the half. It is Gillislee's first game with the Saints.
The Saints scored on a 5-yard Alvin Kamara run (with Taysom Hill in at quarterback and Drew Brees flanked out wide), a 28-yard strike from Brees to Ted Ginn Jr., a 6-yard TD pass to Michael Thomas and a 36-yard Wil Lutz field goal.
Saints stat leaders
Brees, 17 of 21 for 238 yards with two TDs
Kamara, six carries for 29 yards
Michael Thomas, eight catches for 90 yards and one TD
Bucs stat leaders
Fitzpatrick, 11 of 14 for 210 with two passing TDs and one rushing TD
Barber, eight carries for 50 yards
Jackson, two catches for 65 yards and one TD
Check out the fans and entertainment in Champions Square prior to the Saints regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 9.