The New Orleans Saints earned a 9-0 road win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night. Cameron Jordan starred for the Saints defense, recording two sacks and a forced fumble to help New Orleans improve to 7-7.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/camjordan94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@camjordan94</a> is having a night 🔥<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NOvsTB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NOvsTB</a> on NBC<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/Oqb90AsSAM">https://t.co/Oqb90AsSAM</a> <a href="https://t.co/ajwFOwaBGk">pic.twitter.com/ajwFOwaBGk</a>
The Saints have now defeated Tampa Bay in seven consecutive regular-season games.
The Buccaneers fell to 10-4 and had their four-game winning streak snapped. Tom Brady threw for 213 yards and an interception in the loss. It was his first shutout loss since 2006.
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On <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SNF?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SNF</a>, the <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Saints</a> handed Tom Brady his first shutout since Week 15, 2006 ...<br><br>Back on Dec 10, 2006:<br><br>- Brady was 29 years, 129 days old<br>- No currently active defensive player had yet entered the NFL<br>- Drew Brees was playing his first season w/ the Saints
Tampa Bay would have clinched its first NFC South title since 2007 with a victory.
Taysom Hill, QB, NO: 13-of-27 for 154 YDS; 11 CAR for 33 YDS
Cameron Jordan, DE, NO: 5 tackles, 2 sacks, forced fumble
Tom Brady, QB, TB: 26-of-48 for 213 YDS, INT, fumble lost
Saints Defense Stifles Buccaneers Offense
Watching Sunday's game, you wouldn't have known that Tampa Bay entered Sunday as the highest-scoring offense in the NFL with an average of 31.5 points. The Saints had the Buccaneers looking lost on offense, relentlessly pressuring Brady and coming up with timely stops.
Tampa Bay was scoreless in the game despite dominating the time of possession and the yardage differential.
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This is the 5th time that a Tom Brady-led team was shut out through 3 quarters.<br><br>- Patriots 2003 Week 1 at Bills (lost 31-0)<br>- Patriots 2006 Week 3 vs Broncos (lost 17-7)<br>- Patriots 2006 Week 14 vs Dolphins (lost 21-0)<br>- Buccaneers 2020 Week 9 vs Saints (lost 38-3)
Anytime the Buccaneers looked to be building momentum, the Saints squashed it quickly. When Tampa Bay drove the ball into the red zone late in the third quarter, Jordan forced Brady to fumble, allowing Marshon Lattimore to recover the ball.
Ball is loose. <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Saints</a> recover!<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NOvsTB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NOvsTB</a> on NBC<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/Oqb90AsSAM">https://t.co/Oqb90AsSAM</a> <a href="https://t.co/XLWvu9j2LK">pic.twitter.com/XLWvu9j2LK</a>
The pressure the Saints defense put on Brady was outstanding all night. The 44-year-old was under constant duress, and it was surprising that Tampa Bay couldn't adjust.
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A lot of pressure, and three sacks so far on the night for the Saints defense.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NextGenStats?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NextGenStats</a>, powered by <a href="https://twitter.com/awscloud?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AWSCloud</a>. <a href="https://t.co/qUe6134h2g">pic.twitter.com/qUe6134h2g</a>
Sunday night's game might go down as the best defensive performance of the season. Tampa Bay had looked like a well-oiled machine on offense during its win streak, but that came to an end this week thanks to New Orleans playing like an absolute juggernaut on defense.
The win keeps the Saints' slim playoff chances alive. If the team's defense can continue to shut opponents down, New Orleans can make things interesting down the stretch in the tight NFC postseason race.
Buccaneers Struggle Mightily After Losing Top Offensive Weapons
It was tough sledding all night for the Buccaneers, but things got worse after key players exited the game with injuries for Tampa Bay.
Wide receivers Chris Godwin (knee) and Mike Evans (hamstring) and running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) were all ruled out. Godwin and Evans exited in the first half while Fournette went down in the third quarter.
Without his top offensive weapons, Brady couldn't get anything going against a Saints defense that played its best game of the season. The veteran quarterback was visibly frustrated throughout the game.
Surprisingly, Brady had trouble connecting with his favorite target Rob Gronkowski. The tight end was held to just two catches for 29 yards on 11 targets.
Tampa Bay had a late opportunity to trim the lead to one-possession game, but the drive ended when Brady threw an interception to C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson will take that!<br><br>This <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Saints</a> defense came to play.<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NOvsTB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NOvsTB</a> on NBC<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/Oqb90AKtZm">https://t.co/Oqb90AKtZm</a> <a href="https://t.co/o8IFcU5O1T">pic.twitter.com/o8IFcU5O1T</a>
Tampa Bay has not looked this way against any other team, so it's likely that this game was just an anomaly. As the defending Super Bowl champions, a veteran team like the Buccaneers should use this game as fuel for its late-season run.
What is more concerning is the health of Tampa Bay's star players. If Godwin, Evans and Fournette are forced to miss time at this point in the year, it would be a major blow to the Buccaneers as the season winds down.
The Saints will go for their third straight win next week on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins. The Buccaneers will look to bounce back in another division matchup next Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.