New Orleans a Perfect 10: Saints Sink Buccaneers, 38-7

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst INovember 22, 2009

ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 15: David Thomas #85 of the New Orleans Saints carries the ball during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

No Sedrick Ellis.

No Reggie Bush.

Both starting corners out.

No problem.

Tampa Bay took the ball 95 yards down the field and scored a touchdown on their first drive.

They got just 124 yards and were shut out the rest of the game.

The New Orleans Saints scored the final five touchdowns of the game in a 38-7 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Saints forced four turnovers and, even more importantly, committed none of their own.

New Orleans, prior to Sunday's game at Tampa Bay, had committed 13 turnovers in the past four games—seven alone by Drew Brees.

Brees was an efficient 19 of 29 passing for 187 yards and three touchdowns.

New Orleans held Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman to 17 of 33 passing and only 126 yards.

Game balls go to...


The Offensive line : For the first time in several weeks, Brees was not sacked. The line also paved the way for Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell to combine for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

David Thomas : His versatility has made the loss of fullback Heath Evans more bearable and has given Brees a solid second tight end to compliment Jeremy Shockey. Thomas threw several key blocks in the run game and had four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Malcolm Jenkins: Making his first career start for the injured Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter, Jenkins finished second on the team with five tackles and had his first career interception.


Nice to have you back...

Marques Colston: Colston led the team in receptions and yardage after posting back-to-back poor games.


New Orleans back on track

This was the type of game the Saints absolutely need. Yeah, the blowout came against a (now) 1-9 team with a rookie quarterback, but New Orleans had hardly looked like a playoff team since whipping the New York Giants 48-27 on October 25.

No huge comeback was needed this time as they trailed by no more than seven.

The Saints closed out the game like a top NFL team should by scoring 21 second half points and shutting out the opponent in the process.


A look ahead...

At 10-0, the Saints have set a new franchise record with 10 straight wins.

They are two wins shy of the franchise record for regular season wins. New Orleans went 12-3 in 1987 and 12-4 in 1992. Ironically, none of the Saints' three division titles came in either of those seasons.

The Saints currently have a five-game lead over the Falcons for the NFC South crown with six games left. New Orleans will clinch the division next week with a win over New England AND an Atlanta loss to Tampa Bay.

The Saints will face the Patriots (7-3) in Week 12 at home on Monday Night Football .