Sometimes, a team has an off night. It happens to the best of them. But what we witnessed on Sunday Night Football between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints might just be more than that.
The game was out of hand almost before it started.
Despite being home favorites, Tampa Bay got slapped around by New Orleans for four quarters. The final score was 38-3, and the Buccaneers didn’t put up those three points until they were midway through the fourth.
The offense was awful for Tampa Bay. They totaled under 200 yards (194) with only nine of those yards coming on the ground. They converted only one third- or fourth-down attempts and hold the ball for less than 20 minutes (19 minutes, 56 seconds).
Quarterback Tom Brady threw three interceptions, took three sacks and was hit a lot more.
The defense was not much better. The Saints were 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) on third down while racking up 38 points and 420 total yards. Drew Brees was efficient with four touchdowns. Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill proved to be effective as a passer, runner and receiver (123 total yards).
It was like everything went right for New Orleans while everything went wrong for Tampa Bay.
Two different nights for two legendary QBs.
🏴☠️ Tom Brady: 22/38, 209 Pass Yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs
⚜️ Drew Brees: 26/32, 222 Pass Yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs pic.twitter.com/FT19lECGi2
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 9, 2020
But guys, this isn’t the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Jets. This is a Bucs team that was 6-2 and heavy favorites to win the NFC South heading into this game. Yet, they were dominated in every facet of the game — even with new wide receiver Antonio Brown finally seeing the field.
Bruce Arians and company had zero answers.
Does this mean that power is shifting in the NFC South? Should the now 6-2 Saints be considered the favorites? They have beaten Tampa Bay on two separate occasions after all.
It is hard to count out Brady. He has had rough games in the past, but this one still feels different.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.