After an 0-4 start last year dashed any playoff hopes the New Orleans Saints had, it was crucial for them to get off to a good start. They did just that, in a 24-20 win over their division rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The game was a see-saw battle, and the Buccaneers still had a shot to win it with under one minute left to play. Unfortunately for them, Scott Fujita was able to intercept a fourth-down pass from Jeff Garcia at the Saints' 20-yard line.
This sealed the win for the Saints, and it was a special victory after the week they endured in fear of "Gustav."
Brees proved to be his usual self, going 23-for-32 with 343 passing yards and three TDs. He threw 39 yards to David Patten, 84 yards to Devery Henderson, and 42 yards to Reggie Bush. Bush's TD would prove to be the winner in the physical, hard-fought battle.
Bush finished with 112 receiving yards on eight receptions, but only 50 rushing yards on 14 carries. Pierre Thomas also proved to be good, rushing for 52 yards on just 10 carries.
Newcomer Jeremy Shockey played well in his debut, finishing with 54 yards on eight catches, including a particularly tough one that set up a field goal that tied the game up at the time.
Surprisingly, the defense was able to pull together in the dying moments of the game and new linebacker Jonathan Vilma recorded seven tackles in his Saints debut.