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Taking advantage of scoring opportunities is top priority for Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints offense

"I am aware that when you get down to the red zone that you want to come away with touchdowns"

Check out the best action shots from the Saints in Week 4 as they host the Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Check out the best action shots from the Saints in Week 4 as they host the Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Of course Teddy Bridgewater knows the New Orleans Saints offense needs to perk up.

A Sunday night, prime time victory over Dallas didn't hide the fact that the Saints kicked four field goals in the 12-10 victory; that they were 0-for-4 in the red zone; that they totaled less than 300 yards for the second consecutive week; or that Bridgewater has totaled 370 passing yards in the two games (albeit, at a completion rate of 73.7 percent).

He doesn't need to read social media to know it, although he had a conduit who told him anyway.

"My mom said something to me," he said, smiling. "I told her, 'Stop reading what you see.'"

What Bridgewater is looking for, though, are more productive offensive days for the Saints (3-1), who lead the NFC South Division entering Sunday's game against Tampa Bay (2-2) in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The wins, he'll take, of course. But the offensive efficiency has to improve.

"I feel like this is a tough game to play and wins are hard to come by in this league so whenever you can win, you don't want to take anything away from it because not every team's able to win," Bridgewater said. "For me it's just about playing the game the way I play it.

"But I am aware that when you get down to red zone and things like that you want to come away with touchdowns. You can't always win a game kicking four field goals, but we did. We know that that's not how we want to win around here. So there are some areas that we're going to continue to address and get better at."

That, Bridgewater, is the main thing, and it trumps any personal numbers. That's where he wants to see himself improve, and the opportunity could present itself against the Buccaneers, who allow 29.2 points and 318.2 passing yards per game, second-most in the league.

"For the most part, it is just finishing those drives with touchdowns," Bridgewater said. "We understand that is a four-point play when you are down there. You can either get a field goal or a touchdown. It is a four-point swing.

"It's one of those deals where you just want to have that aggressive mind-set, but at the same time understand that you have points on the board. When we get in the red zone, we just want to be more efficient."

Bridgewater said that the dearth of long completions – his longest was 20 yards against the Cowboys, and his longest of the season was a 29-yard, catch-and-run touchdown by Alvin Kamara – is balanced by the team's success, but isn't indicative of the team's desire.

"It's definitely a fair question, but at the end of the day we're winning football games and we understand that they're going to be shots and opportunities that you have to push the ball down the field," he said.

"When you come back and watch the tape, you realize that every time that we called a shot, Dallas called a perfect defense. It's one of those deals where it's like, man, they just called the perfect play at the right time.

"We understand that the past two opponents that we've played also play to prevent the deep ball from being completed down the field. We're aware of our opponents each week. We still want to take our shots when we call them, but this week moving forward, we want to continue to just stay within ourselves and be aggressive."

What Tampa Bay Coach Bruce Arians sees is an opportunistic opponent that has adapted to life, however temporary, without Drew Brees.

"Well, they're doing a great job offensively of just staying to the course and not turn it over, knowing what they have to do," Arians said. "Feed off the defense and the defense and special teams are creating points and keeping it close and winning, and that's what you have to do when your quarterback's down."

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