NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 11 PFF ReFocused: New Orleans Saints 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

Drew Brees didn't wow, but he did enough to lead the Saints to a 34-17 victory over the Jameis Winston-led Buccaneers in Week 11 of the 2019 NFL season.

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PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

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Final Score

New Orleans Saints 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara helped the Saints race out to an early lead with his elusiveness in space. He broke multiple tackles in the first half on his way to a strong outing both as a runner and receiver.

While the final score looks friendly, there is reason to be concerned with Drew Brees. Again, he rarely threw the ball down the field, and when he did, the ball seemed to die on him and come up well short of his target. He'll need to find his rhythm again for the stretch run.

Eli Apple was given the difficult task of subbing in for the injured Marshon Lattimore as the No. 1 corner of the Saints today, and he did an admirable job. He notched a couple of pass breakups and made life difficult for the Bucs receivers throughout the game.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was picked on frequently, as he often found himself covering the dangerous array of slot receivers the Bucs put on the field. He gave up several big plays on the day, including a 48-yarder to Scotty Miller in the second quarter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A three-play sequence in the fourth quarter summed up Jameis Winston‘s day perfectly. On first down, he had a clean pocket and missed a short crossing pattern; on second down, he was hit as he threw and the pass was contested and broken up by a linebacker; on third down, the drive ended with an interception returned for a touchdown due to miscommunication with wideout Mike Evans.

Pass protection was a significant issue for the Bucs today, particularly off the edge. Both Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson gave up a slew of pressures off the edge, as did the running backs trying to pick up blitzes.

Rookie linebacker Devin White was caught in coverage against Michael Thomas on a couple of occasions, and those plays ended with the expected, disastrous results. He surrendered multiple big plays and looked unsurprisingly outmatched against the Saints' superstar.

Vita Vea was his usual self as he clogged up running lanes inside and was effective on pass-rushes. He was able to notch multiple quick pressures inside using a combination of power and quickness off the ball.

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