Saints fall apart late in brutal loss at Tampa Bay

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The New Orleans Saints had won four straight games and eight of the last 10 games at Raymond James Stadium.

It is the home away from home for the Saints and the guys wearing white jerseys and pants and black helmets made themselves at home, once again Monday night, at least for nearly 57 minutes.

Then came the final three minutes.

Then came the 2022 New Orleans Saints.

They found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

It was nothing short of a colossal collapse.

For most of the night, Tom Brady looked his age.

Then, with the game on the line, Brady looked like the vintage version of the best quarterback in NFL history, which he clearly is.

Down by two scores, Brady, who was flustered and did little to nothing against a New Orleans defense playing very well, all of a sudden found it as the defense did not play very well, anymore.

Brady drove Tampa Bay 91 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown to cut the deficit to six points.

Brady then drove the Buccaneers 63 yards in 11 plays and threw the game-winning touchdown pass with three seconds left.

With the game on the line, Brady was 14 of 19 for 118 yards and two touchdowns on the final two possessions.

You just knew it was going to happen. You could see it coming.

Given the circumstances, this was one of the worst losses in recent memory.

The loss to the Giants last season comes to mind and there are others but with much on the line, against a primary division rival, the Saints simply blew it and it was a total team effort.

Here are my Quick Takes from the 17-16 Saints loss at Tampa Bay:

**The New Orleans Saints had forced just seven turnovers in 12 games this season, worst in the NFL. They got two in this game but ip was not enough.

**Despite being questionable, Marshon Lattimore missed his eighth straight game with his abdomen injury while Pete Werner missed his fourth straight game with his ankle injury.

**Tampa Bay took the opening kickoff and drove 72 yards in 16 plays, consuming 8:35 but Marcus Maye made a nice tackle in space on Leonard Fournette on a pass completion from Tom Brady in the flat at the 3-yard line and Ryan Succop came on to kick a 21-yard field goal to make it 3-0 with 6:25 to play in the first quarter.

**The Saints had a penalty to stop their first positive possession, a holding call on James Hurst.

**The Saints had a penalty on the next Tampa Bay offensive series for defensive holding on Alontae Taylor.

**New Orleans finally got it going and took the lead midway through the second quarter, driving 80 yards in eight plays with Dalton finding a wide open Taysom Hill on a 30-yard touchdown pass to give the Saints a 7-3 lead with 7:33 to play in the half.

**On the play, Dalton was well protected, looked right twice, came off his primary target and found Hill wide open down the left sideline.

**On the drive, Dalton completed passes of 19 yards to Rashid Shaheed and 20 yards to Adam Trautman to set up the score.

**The defense then forced a 3-and-out with successive tackles for loss by Carl Granderson and Taylor.

**Shaheed then came through again with another big play, returning a punt 41 yards to the Tampa Bay 40-yard line.

**The Saints did nothing with it as Chris Olave dropped a perfectly thrown deep out throw by Dalton, resulting in a punt. It was the first official drop for Olave, who has been outstanding, this season.

**Demario Davis then came up with a huge play as he read Brady perfectly, who did not see him, got in the passing lane, intercepted it and returned it to the Tampa Bay 49-yard line. It was just the third interception of the season by the Saints and the first by someone other than Tyrann Mathieu.

**Per Ed Werder, Brady now has a turnover in all six regular season games against the Saints since he joined the Buccaneers in 2020.

**That setup a 38-yard field goal by Wil Lutz to make it 10-3 with 20 seconds left in the half.

**It could have been more. Dalton put on up for Jarvis Landry, who got a hand on it, pulled it in to his body but could not secure it on what would have been a touchdown.

**Zack Baun went down with an ankle injury and did not return.

**The Saints opened the second half with the ball and did what they did on their first possession of the game, went 3-and-out.

**The New Orleans defense then did something it has not done all season, forcing a second turnover in a game as Cam Jordan stripped Rachaad White on an 8-yard pass completion from Brady and Carl Granderson recovered at the New Orleans 32-yard line.

**The Saints had a nice drive, going 65 yards in 12 plays, reaching the 3-yard line but inexplicably and inexcusably, were penalized five yards for 12-men in the huddle. That stopped the drive and Lutz kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it 13-3 with 2:46 to play in the third quarter.

**The big play of the drive was a 21-yard completion from Hill to Olave, perfectly thrown. Defenses regularly play man coverage against the Saints when Hill is at quarterback and Olave got open.

**Mark Ingram went down hurt after catching a screen pass and being knocked of bounds at the Tampa Bay 11-yard line with 8:24 to play in the game.

**The Saints had another long drive, going 69 yards in 12 plays, taking 6:51 off the clock but again, had to settle for a field goal, this time 29 yards by Lutz to make it 16-3 with 8:02 to play in the game.

**The big play of the drive was a 26-yard pass from Dalton to Olave.

**Shy Tuttle and Tanoh Kpassagnon then got a sack of Brady.

**Jordan got pressure on Brady but left the game injured.

**With a chance to put the game away, with a 16-3 lead, Ingram ran out of bounds on a catch a yard short of the first down at the Tampa Bay 44-yard line. Ingram would have had the first down easily but he ran out because apparently, he was hurt. Still, the marker was in front of him and easily accessible. It proved costly.

**On third and one, Pete Carmichael called a quick slant pass to Marquez Callaway, who had hardly played and had not been targeted previously. It was incomplete. The Saints punted.

**Why throw it then? Why not run it and run it again if you came up just short? If the Saints would have made a first down there, the game was basically over.

**Tampa Bay then drove 91 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Brady to tight end Cade Otton to cut the deficit to 16-10 with three minutes to play in the game.

**The touchdown was set up by a very poor play by Paulson Adebo, who committed a 44-yard pass interference penalty, giving the Bucs the ball on the 1-yard line. How he allowed Evans to get deep on him when you were up 13 points in that situation is stunning, absolutely stunning.

**Then, the Saints quickly went 3-and-out, including a sack of Dalton when the Saints had taken their three starting receivers out of the game and called a pass play.

**Then, Dalton put a perfect ball on Hill for what would have been a big play but it was dislodged on a big hit and New Orleans punted.

**You knew what was coming as Brady drove the Bucs down the field, overcame a holding penalty against Donovan Smith which negated a 5-yard touchdown pass to Godwin. Brady still hit White on a 6-yard touchdown pass with three seconds left and Succop’s extra point sealed the deal.

Brady engineered his 44th career fourth quarter comeback victory, breaking a tie for first in NFL history with Peyton Manning.

It was just the second win for Brady when trailing by 13 points in the fourth quarter. The other was the infamous Super Bowl comeback from 28-3 against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Previously, Brady was 1-43 in those situations. Make it 2-43.

It was the latest game-winning touchdown pass for Brady in his illustrious 23-year career, coming with three seconds remaining.

The ending and the result were fitting.

You are what your record says you are.

The New Orleans Saints do everything bad teams do, dropping passes, getting critical penalties at critical times, running out of bounds short of a first down on an easy first down catch and run, calling a pass play on third-and-one to your fourth or fifth wide receiver and committing a 44-yard pass interference penalty when leading by 13 points late in the game.

Then, taking out your top three wide receivers, calling a pass play, no one getting open (imagine that) and taking a sack. Then, despite a perfect throw, you can’t hold onto it.

Finally, your defense, great for 55 minutes, failed in huge fashion with the game on the line.

Perhaps now we can stop the pipe dream regarding still being “in the race” in the pathetic NFC South.

The Saints have earned their way to the bottom of a bad division at 4-9.

The Saints fell apart.

The season is falling apart.

Tampa Bay is not very good but the Saints are worse, unfortunately.

With a bye week beckoning, the 2022 Saints have likely just waved bye-bye to any chance of winning the division and reaching the playoffs.

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Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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