In a highly critical game early in the 2023 campaign, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t squander the opportunity to move into first place in the NFC South with a 26-9 victory against New Orleans.
Early in the first quarter, the Saints went up 3-0 as they looked solid as Alvin Kamara returned from a four-game suspension and looked pretty fresh. He ended the game with 51 yards rushing and 33 yards receiving, and with 13 receptions, it was clear the check down was a lot of what the Bucs defense was allowing.
Speaking of the defense, Antione Winfield Jr. had a huge day with 9 total tackles, 6 of them solo, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 deflection, a forced fumble, and the recovery. We can’t take away from what the defense did as a whole unit by only allowing 3 field goals in a dominating performance, giving up 197 total yards, and winning the turnover battle by snagging 2 fumbles. Dee Delaney swooped in once again to pick off Jameis Winston, who entered the game late in the fourth once the game was out of reach, giving Derek Carr rest after he made a speedy return to start with a shoulder injury.
As for the Bucs offense, they kept in true fashion, starting off slow but picking it up late in the 2nd quarter. Raschaad White ended the game with 15 rushes for 56 yards, gaining 3.7 yards a carry while snagging 3 catches for 22 yards. Mike Evans went out of the game at the half and never returned with a hamstring issue. Chris Godwin stepped in a showed why it’s a benefit to have 2 number 1 receivers picking apart the Saints’ secondary in the second half 8 catches for 114 yards. Baker sent the remaining catches around to 7 other players, going 25-32 for 246 yards, 3 TDS, and 1 INT.
Overall, it was a successful trip to the rival Saints; coming home with the division lead always freaks good and makes for a great day to be a Buc!!