TAMPA, Flolrida — No person hounds Tom Brady just like the New Orleans Saints.
Cameron Jordan and the New Orleans defence gave Brady suits once more, shutting down Tampa Bay’s high-powered offense Sunday evening because the Saints put the Buccaneers’ division-title celebration plans on maintain with a 9-0 victory over the reigning Tremendous Bowl champions.
“Only a robust evening. Didn’t do a lot of something proper,” mentioned Brady, who smashed a pill on the bench in frustration late within the fourth quarter.
“I want it was only one factor. It was loads of issues,” he added. “We simply didn’t play effectively sufficient. We’re not going to win scoring no factors.”
Regardless of taking part in with out coach Sean Payton on the sideline, the Saints (7-7) beat the Bucs (10-4) for the seventh straight time in the course of the common season — fourth since Brady left New England for Tampa Bay in 2020.
And little doubt, defence was the driving pressure behind this one.
“You’ll be able to’t say sufficient about what they did to pitch a shutout like that. And in opposition to a Brady-led offense, it’s unimaginable,” Saints quarterback Taysom Hill mentioned. “A part of our play calling and all that was reflective of how effectively they have been taking part in.”
The victory gave New Orleans a sweep of the season sequence between the NFC South rivals and boosted the Saints into playoff place with a maintain on the convention’s last wild card. It additionally pressured Tampa Bay to attend not less than one other week to clinch its first division crown since 2007.
The Bucs, who did win a playoff recreation at New Orleans final January en path to profitable the Tremendous Bowl, lead the division by three video games with three weeks remaining within the common season.
With defensive coordinator Dennis Allen standing in for Payton, who missed the sport after testing optimistic for COVID-19, the Saints stymied the NFL’s No. 1 passing and scoring offense and ended Brady’s streak of 255 consecutive begins (together with playoff video games) with out being shut out.
Former Saints star Drew Brees (304) is the one quarterback with an extended run.
“This wasn’t in any method a one-man present,” Allen mentioned. “This was a company that got here collectively and received a recreation.”
Jordan had two of New Orleans’ 4 sacks, surpassing 100 for his profession, and compelled a key fumble within the lowest-scoring recreation of the NFL season. It was the primary time Brady misplaced to an opponent that didn’t handle a landing.
“Look, if we needed to win, we needed to put it on the D-line,” Jordan mentioned. “We put in a four-man rush entrance and we acquired after him. We hit him early, we hit him usually and we form of rushed him a number of extra occasions than he usually has been. I imply, to get Tom Brady — he’s acquired one of many quickest releases within the recreation. So I’m simply overly impressed with my D-line.”
Brady leads the NFL in completions (404), makes an attempt (602), yards passing (4,348) and TD passes (36), however he was simply 26 of 48 for 213 yards and one interception — the eighth he’s thrown in 4 regular-season video games in opposition to the Saints, who didn’t have any turnovers Sunday evening.
Hill, in the meantime, was 13 of 27 for 154 yards and no interceptions for New Orleans, which additionally acquired discipline targets of 39, 35 and 42 yards from Brett Maher.
The twin-threat quarterback arrange Maher’s first discipline objective with a 40-yard completion to Marquez Callaway. They mixed on a 33-yard move play to arrange the 35-yarder that gave New Orleans a 6-0 halftime lead.
“Clearly, we’d somewhat have touchdowns than discipline targets in these conditions, however we have been capable of come away with factors,” Allen mentioned. “And the best way this recreation ended up taking part in out it was extra about defending the soccer and taking part in the field-position recreation, as a result of we felt good concerning the defence and the best way we have been taking part in.”
The Saints have received two in a row after a five-game dropping streak that jeopardized their postseason possibilities.
“We’re conscious of the scenario,” Hill mentioned. “We’re 7-7 now and we’re doing every part we are able to to get to the playoffs. Now we have to method each recreation prefer it’s a playoff recreation.”
The Saints have received the NFC South yearly since 2017, and regardless of dropping Brees to retirement and his successor, Jameis Winston, to a season-ending knee harm, they’re not relinquishing the crown with out a battle.
Trevor Siemian got here off the bench to interchange Winston and lead New Orleans to a 36-27 victory within the first assembly between the fierce rivals on Oct. 31. Brady threw for 375 yards and two TDs in that one, but in addition misplaced a fumble and had considered one of his two interceptions returned for a landing within the loss.
This time, the Saints’ defence harassed Brady repeatedly, pressured a fumble by the 44-year-old quarterback that ruined Tampa Bay’s finest scoring alternative within the second half, and likewise intercepted the seven-time Tremendous Bowl winner late within the recreation.
“I feel it’s only a testomony to what our defence is ready to do,” Jordan mentioned. “The best way we have been capable of assault the offence, I like it.”
Ryan Succop missed a 45-yard discipline objective, costing the Bucs potential factors within the first half.
“Very disappointing. It’s by no means occurred to me. I can’t keep in mind the final time I used to be shut out, or us,” Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians mentioned. “Our kickers allow us to down, additionally. Between the offence and the kicking recreation, it price us the sport. The defence performed ok to win.”
Saints: Performed with out LT Terron Armstead and RT Ryan Ramszyk, each out with knee accidents.
Buccaneers: WRs Chris Godwin (knee) and Mike Evans (hamstring) left within the second quarter, Godwin after taking a tough hit from Saints CB P.J. Williams. Neither receiver returned to the sport. … RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) departed within the third quarter. … S Jordan Whitehead returned to the lineup after lacking two video games, however S Antoine Winfield Jr. (foot), CB Jamel Dean (sickness) and CB Richard Sherman (Achilles) have been inactive.
Saints: Host the Miami Dolphins subsequent Monday evening.
Buccaneers: Journey to Carolina for the primary of two video games the defending champs will play in opposition to the Panthers within the last three weeks of the common season.