NFL Week 8 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 36, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF

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NFL Week 8 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 36, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Deonte Harris (11) returns a kick against Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Anthony Nelson (98) during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints‘ defense forced three takeaways, including a game-sealing pick-six by safety P.J. Williams, to outlast the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 36-27, in Week 8.

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New Orleans Saints

Quarterback

Jameis Winston’s revenge game came to an abrupt halt early in the second quarter after he sustained what appears to be a season-ending knee injury. While Winston did leave the Saints’ offense with seven points on the board, Trevor Siemian entered in relief to toss a touchdown pass. The backup is still set to earn a sub-50.0 passing grade after making more turnover-worthy plays (2) than big-time throws (1).

Running Backs

Mark Ingram II and Alvin Kamara reunited as partners in crime for the Saints' backfield. Kamara earned a pending 56.4 grade after recording 2.7 yards after contact and only 3 first-down runs. Ingram’s grade fared slightly better — 64.6, pending final review — as he finished with 4.0 yards after contact on just six carries.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Deonte Harris saw three of his seven targets go for first downs despite amassing just 35 yards, and he should among the team's highest-graded offensive players after final review. Tight end Garrett Griffin’s pending 78.7 receiving grade topped the unit, as his two targets translated into two catches and one chain-mover that resulted in a crucial scoring drive for the Saints before the half.

Offensive Line

New Orleans held firm against a ferocious Tampa Bay pass rush, surrendering no sacks and 11 pressures on the day. Headlining the great trench play was James Hurst, who didn't allow a single pressure on 48 pass-blocking snaps.

Defensive Line

Cameron Jordan stood out along the defensive line, tallying three total pressures — two hurries and a sack — and a forced fumble. Marcus Davenport joined him with three pressures of his own, although all three were just hurries.

Linebackers

Demario Davis totaled a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, a defensive stop and a 75.0-plus grade, pending final review, at his linebacker spot.

Secondary

On just 16 coverage snaps, P.J. Williams left the most impactful mark in the Saints' secondary with a game-changing pick-six en route to a 94.9 coverage grade on first review of the broadcast film.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterback

While Tom Brady had the yards (375) and the touchdown passes (4), he made more turnover-worthy plays (3) than big-time throws (2) in the loss. Coming into the game, Brady had just one turnover-worthy play all season.

Running Backs

Leonard Fournette's stat line included just one first down rush, one explosive rushing play and a pending sub-57.5 rushing grade. Ronald Jones II didn’t fare any better on his three carries, going without a first-down run. Giovani Bernard finished with the highest rushing grade out of all three, pending review, despite having two carries.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Chris Godwin’s four explosive receiving plays, 17.5 yards per reception and five first-down catches showcased his dominance from the slot, where he operated 70% of the time. It was needed because while Mike Evans had a receiving score and two first-down catches, he managed only two receptions from his four targets.

Tight end O.J. Howard finished with a 56.4 receiving grade on first review from two catches, while a hampered Rob Gronkowski saw just three receiving snaps.

Offensive Line

The Bucs' offensive line finished with a positive 84.5 pass-blocking grade on first review, but the unit did allow 10 total pressures and a couple of late sacks.

Defensive Line

Vita Vea tallied one hit and two hurries — the lone notable pass-rushing impact from Tampa Bay's defensive line. The team recorded just one sack on the day.

Linebackers

Devin White made four tackles and three stops on 28 run snaps, finishing with a 62.5 run-defense grade on first review. 

Secondary

Jamel Dean’s pending 72.6 coverage grade consisted of one defensive stop and one explosive pass play allowed on four targets. Safety Jordan Whitehead forced an incompletion and made three defensive stops during his highest-graded day in coverage of the season (79.4), pending final review.

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