It was a nail biter at the end but the Saints managed to hold on to a 35-28 win in Tampa Bay Saturday to improve their record to 2-4 on the season. Saints fans were on the edge of their seats as the Tampa completed two passes in the end zone in the final seconds that thankfully were ruled incomplete.
Vincent Jackson failed to get both feet down on one play and then on the final play of the game Mike Williams was shoved out of bound by Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson before coming back in bounds to make the reception. A player cannot go out of bounds and be the first one to touch the ball once he comes back into the field of play.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was held out with an ankle injury but wide receiver Lance Moore picked up the slack by having a great game. Moore had nine receptions for 121 yards. Receivers Marques Colston had seven receptions for 73 yards to go with a touchdown and receiver Joe Morgan had one catch but like in Green Bay it was a big one. Morgan hauled in a deep ball, fought off two Bucs and somehow stayed on his feet and completed a 49-yard touchdown play.
Assistant head coach Joe Vitt met the team aboard the plane as his six-game suspension has come to an end and will now take over head coaching duties.
Tampa Bay jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the start of the game thanks to an early interception by safety Ronde Barber that came off of a tip pass and a defense that had trouble stopping the Buccs passing game.
Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns as he directed the Tampa offense to three straight touchdown drives to open the game. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma played in a game for the first time this season and finished with no tackles but recorded one quarterback hit and a pass defense that he almost brought in for an interception.
The Saints defense yielded 513 yards of total offense for Tampa Bay but managed to get enough stops to turn the ball over to a hot Saints offense. Tampa on the ground was held to just 98 yards of rushing so that is a positive.
Saints running back Pierre Thomas led the Saints ground game with 32 yards rushing on 13 carries and a touchdown. As a team, the Saints rushed for 81 yards.
The Saints take to the prime time lights next as they travel to Denver to face the Broncos on Sunday Night Football. The Broncos are on a bye this week and are 3-3 on the season.