NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 9 PFF ReFocused: New Orleans Saints 38, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3

Tampa, Florida, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the most dominant performances of the season, the New Orleans Saints swept their season series with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and took the NFC South lead with a 38-3 victory.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story Of The Game

The Bucs offense was nowhere to be found tonight, with their -0.46 expected points added (EPA) per play coming in at the third-lowest for any team in any game this season.

Tampa Bay just couldn’t throw the ball, and down big, they refused to run it at all. Their 8 total rushing yards were by far the lowest in any game this season.

With the Saints jumping out to an early lead, Tampa decided to come back in the game via the pass, so the Saints defense just pinned their ears back and pressured Tom Brady all night. Brady was pressured on 19 of his 41 dropbacks, and he completed 7-of-16 throws for only 60 yards and an interception on those throws while taking three sacks.

In two games this season, the Saints pressured Brady 32 times in total — that makes up 37% of his total pressures after nine weeks. Overall, his 5.5 yards per attempt and 57.9% completion rate in this game are the lowest marks of his season so far.

For the Saints defense, David Onyemata showed up with seven total pressures and put four hits on Brady. Trey Hendrickson joined in with two sacks and five total pressures. Only two pressures came from linebackers and safeties as the Saints defensive line dominated proceedings. 

On the other side of the ball, Drew Brees was magnificently efficient outside of almost throwing an early interception to Jason Pierre Paul. Whether he was clean or pressured, this was vintage late-career Brees. Impressively, he completed 8-of-11 passes for 73 yards, two touchdowns and took one sack when he was put under pressure. When kept clean, he was 18-for-21. Just impeccable.

Michael Thomas returned to action and had a modest four catches on five targets for 31 yards as Brees spread the ball around to 10 different pass-catchers. A total of seven different players moved the chains through the air.

The Saints attacked the great Buccaneers linebackers constantly, with Devin White and Lavonte David combining for 12 catches allowed on 13 targets, with five of those receptions resulting in a first down. 

Rookie Watch

Saints defensive lineman Malcolm Roach was part of the party at Brady’s, as he hit him once, pressured him once and beat his offensive linemen clean twice. On offense, tight end Adam Trautman saw 31 snaps and caught all three of his targets and his first-ever NFL touchdown. Marquez Callaway also caught both of his targets and was on for six receiving snaps. 

Tristan Wirfs played the whole game at tackle and actually continued his fantastic season protecting his quarterback. Meanwhile, receiver Tyler Johnson caught an 11-yard pass on his only target, though he only played six total snaps.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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