There is a new team atop the overall NFC standings after Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season. The New Orleans Saints (6-2) defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) in Sunday's prime-time matchup, grabbing the No.1 seed and control of the NFC South.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees delivered four touchdown passes in the 38-3 rout, helping extend the team's winning streak to five games. New Orleans also defeated Tampa Bay in the season opener, giving the Black and Gold the tiebreaker edge in the NFC South race.
Fellow quarterback Taysom Hill had his best performance of the season, completing two passes for 48 yards, carrying the ball seven times for 54 yards, while snagging one catch for 21 yards to set up a Saints touchdown.
"Part of it was some of the things that we saw defensively," Coach Sean Payton said Monday of his plan to get Hill involved in the pass game. "There were some good opportunities throwing the football, so a lot of it, specifically, was by gameplan. But each week, we're looking for those types of plays.
"If you're snapping directly to a runner, you're kind of getting your man-advantage back, i.e. any 'Wildcat' run. And so there's some adjustments defensively some teams make, and one of them by Tampa was to get that man-advantage back and to get the middle safety coming into the front. And so when that happens, you kind of have some advantages in the passing game."
The Saints defense sacked and intercepted Bucs quarterback Tom Brady three times apiece in the win. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson met Brady in the backfield twice.
"As a D-line, we were fortunate enough to be a part of the keys to victory, getting after the quarterback and effecting Tom, getting him off the spot," Hendrickson said Monday. "So when you're doing something like that, and being successful at it, and the team's winning, it feels good when we're rolling. And it's a huge help in the secondary too. They were all over those guys. And it was just a really good team win."
Rookie tight end Adam Trautman secured his first career touchdown, becoming the 72nd player on the receiving end of a Brees touchdown pass.
"It felt amazing," Trautman said Monday. "You know, I didn't know what it was going to feel like when I finally caught my first one, but if I could draw it up anyway, that's how I'd do it. And obviously to catch your first touchdown from Drew Brees is something special, and especially in a game of that magnitude as well. So yeah, obviously, I was very excited. Hopefully it showed on TV."
The Saints return home to host the San Francisco 49ers at 3:25 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 on Fox as New Orleans will try to win its sixth consecutive game.
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints at division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.