Week one is finally upon us. This year has had plenty of trials, but football is back. For the 2020 NFL season opener, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off against their rivals, the New Orleans Saints.
This will be the 57th game in the series, and New Orleans holds the advantage with a head-to-head record of 35-21 overall. This isn’t your father’s matchup, though. This season Tampa Bay has all the hype after the signing of quarterback Tom Brady and trading for tight end Rob Gronkowski.
With an exciting season upon us, we look back at a game from the past.
Week 2 of 2015
Back in 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers “earned” the number one pick in the draft. With the top pick, the team selected quarterback Jameis Winston from Florida State. Week one of the 2015 season started with the Buccaneers losing to the Tennessee Titans 42-14. In week two they were looking to earn the first win of Winstons’ young career and the first win of their season. In week two, they faced off against the Saints in New Orleans.
New Orleans was coming off of a week one loss as well by the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, led by head coach Bruce Arians. The Saints were led by quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton. Those two are still cooking down in New Orleans.
The first quarter of the game was uneventful as both teams traded punts until late in the quarter. Following a short punt from New Orleans’ Thomas Morstead, the Buccaneers picked up from the New Orleans own 40-yard line. Following a holding penalty from rookie left tackle Donovan Smith, Jameis Winston completed two quick passes to running back Charles Sims. The receptions gave the Buccaneers a third and five opportunity from the 35-yard line. Winston dropped back to pass and was sacked for a loss of one yard.
After kicker Kyle Brindza 55-yard field goal, the Buccaneers had their first lead of the season, 3-0.
The second quarter was a continuation of the first quarter as neither offense could sustain a drive. On the second possession of the quarter, the Buccaneers received the ball yet again with excellent field position. They took over from their own 46-yard line, and eight plays later had another chance for three points. This time Brindza couldn’t hit from 52 yards out.
The Saints then took over from the 46-yard line and drove down the field. Seven plays later, led by two 20 yard receptions from wide receiver Marques Colston, the Saints finally got on the board. Running back Mark Ingram ran the football from 11 yards out and gave the Saints their first lead of the game.
“Winston… Endzone… Catch… Yes, No? Yes!”
With 1:15 remaining, Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers offense took over from their own 37-yard line. Following a false start and a negative play, the offense faced a 3rd and 16. Winston dropped back to pass and fired a throw over the middle to veteran receiver Vincent Jackson and converted a 17-yard play.
Three plays later, the Buccaneers faced a 1st and 10 from the New Orleans 15-yard line. Winston ended the drive with one of his best throws of his entire career with a dime to Jackson to give the Buccaneers back the lead in New Orleans. The drive was helped by a roughing the passer penalty from safety Kenny Vaccaro and a 23-yard reception from receiver Louis Murphy.
With 12 seconds remaining in the half, the Buccaneers led 10-7.
After receiving the second-half kickoff, the Buccaneers continued where they left off. Four plays were all it took for Tampa to get to the one-yard line (helped by a defensive pass interference call from cornerback Brandon Browner). This time around Winston used his legs and got his team six points. Following the extra point, the Buccaneers led 17-7.
The Saints got their first chance of the second half from their own 18-yard line. After four plays, Drew Brees dropped back to launch a throw on second down and it was picked off by safety Chris Conte. The handoff to cornerback Alterraun Verner, who pranced down the field for 28 yards, highlighted the play.
Nine plays later, Kyle Brindza made his second field goal for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay led 20-7 with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter.
Drew Brees and the Saints started their next drive from their own 20-yard line. Four plays later the trouble continued for New Orleans as wide receiver Willie Snead fumbled after a short completion and the Buccaneers recovered the football.
Winston and company started the drive from the Tampa Bay 40-yard line and in one play got into the red zone. On first down, Winston rolled to his right and found a streaking Louis Murphy deep down the field for a gain of 54 yards. Unfortunately, the offense sputtered and three plays later Brindza made his third kick of the game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers now had a lead of 23-7.
With 10:19 remaining in the game, the Saints had the ball deep in the red zone. They were facing a third and Goal from the 1-yard line. With a fullback dive, the Saints got six points from Austin Johnson and now trailed the Buccaneers 23-13 after a failed two-point conversion.
Jameis Winston was facing a third and three, and instead of eating the sack, he did too much. The Saints stripped him attempting to gain the needed yards, and the Saints took over in Tampa Bay territory.
After three plays the Saints attempted a 42-yard field goal and the Saints Zach Hocker missed the kick.
On first down, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was stuffed on his run and was also stripped of the football by the Saints defense. Taking over from the Tampa Bay 30-yard line, the Saints offense wasted no time in scoring. Two plays later, the Saints trailed the Buccaneers 23-19. Defensive end William Gholston blocked the extra point.
The Chris Conte Game?
After a punt from the Buccaneers offense, the Saints had a chance to take the lead and steal the game. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, New Orleans couldn’t hold on to the rock either. Two plays later, running back Mark Ingram was stripped of the football by safety Chris Conte. Conte also recovered the football for his second huge play of the contest.
After four straight runs, the Buccaneers scored their last points of the game and Brindza kicked his fourth field goal of the game. The lead was now 26-19.
The Saints got the ball one last time with 1:51 remaining. Drew Brees got his team down to the Tampa Bay 45-yard line. With an 18 yard completion to receiver Brandin Cooks, the Saints had the ball at the 27-yard line. With only eight seconds remaining, Brees had no choice but for a couple of shots at the end zone. After a couple of incompletions, the Buccaneers earned their first win of the season and Winston’s first win of his career.
*Game day information provided by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | 3:25 p.m. CT
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (73,000)
Television Network: FOX
Broadcast Crew: Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color), Erin Andrews (sideline)
*Geographic and device restrictions apply. Local & primetime games only. Data charges may apply.
NFL Sunday Ticket
*Local market only
How to Listen:
Buccaneers Radio Network: 98ROCK, Flagship Station
*In-market fans can listen through the Bucs Official App
Broadcast Crew: Gene Deckerhoff (play by play), Dave Moore (color), T.J. Rives (sideline)
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