Tom Brady leads record-setting comeback as Buccaneers take down Saints

TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stormed again to take the lead with three seconds remaining and defeat the New Orleans Saints 17-16 on “Monday Night Football.”

The Bucs overcame the 16-3 deficit to attain two touchdowns within the last 3:03 and swept the season sequence in opposition to their NFC South rival.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In a whole function reversal from final week — when the Cleveland Browns trailed almost all recreation and got here again to defeat the Buccaneers in time beyond regulation — the Bucs (6-6) overcame a disastrous deficit to attain two late touchdowns to defeat the Saints.

Quarterback Tom Brady related with rookie tight finish Cade Otton for a 1-yard landing to chop the Saints’ result in 16-10, after which on the following possession accomplished two passes to Julio Jones, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller to go together with a 10-yard run from Leonard Fournette.

A holding name on left sort out Donovan Smith worn out a Godwin landing at the back of the top zone, however Brady related with operating again Rachaad White for the 6-yard recreation winner. It was Brady’s forty fourth profession fourth-quarter comeback, breaking Peyton Manning’s file.

QB breakdown: With out All-Professional proper sort out Tristan Wirfs, Brady struggled with not solely the deep ball but in addition the display screen recreation. He additionally didn’t account for linebacker Demario Davis dropping into protection, and he was picked off on a cross supposed for Russell Gage that arrange a 38-yard subject aim simply earlier than halftime. Whereas it was simply Brady’s third interception all season, it was his second time failing to account for a linebacker in protection. After all, none of that mattered when Brady finally led the 2 scoring drives to clinch the victory.

Troubling pattern: The purple zone continues to be a problem — if they’ll even get down there. And the franchise’s main receiver, Mike Evans, who was focused 9 instances and mustered simply two catches final week, did not even see his quantity referred to as till 1:26 to go within the first half regardless of cornerback Marshon Lattimore being inactive. Brady and Evans did hook up at the start of the second half for a 22-yard play, however it was futile after White fumbled the ball.

Key quantity: The Bucs’ aim every week on protection is to carry their opponent to 17 factors or fewer. That mark was on the cash Monday, however the offense’s incapability to place factors on the board at instances has made for unrealistic expectations. Nonetheless, Brady was capable of save the sport this time for a protection that was with out a number of key gamers in its secondary: Antoine Winfield Jr., Sean Murphy-Bunting and Mike Edwards.

Eye-popping NFL Subsequent Gen Stats stat: Brady has had a turnover in all six regular-season video games in opposition to the Saints since becoming a member of Tampa Bay in 2020 and now has 12 complete in opposition to them. He has not more than three in opposition to another crew.

Subsequent recreation: at San Francisco 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

New Orleans Saints

The Saints noticed their season slip away within the span of three minutes.

The Saints (4-9) had been in management for a lot of the night time in a pivotal matchup in opposition to the Buccaneers that would have put them in rivalry for the NFC South division. However a pricey 44-yard cross interference penalty on cornerback Paulson Adebo put the Bucs on the Saints 1-yard line.

The Bucs scored and the Saints offense failed to reply, primarily paving the way in which for the late comeback. Quarterback Andy Dalton was sacked for a lack of 10 yards on second-and-7 with 2:54 left, after which a cross to Taysom Hill for a would-be first down was dropped on third-and-17.

The Bucs then drove methodically down the sphere to attain, dashing the Saints’ hopes for a successful file in coach Dennis Allen’s first season within the function — and in addition any dream of gaining floor within the division within the last month. The Saints have taken plenty of robust losses this season and have usually lamented dropping video games by advantage of their very own errors, whether or not these be key penalties or turnovers.

That’ll definitely be the case with this one, because it doubtless dealt the ultimate blow of their try to salvage the season.

“That one was tough because we really had an opportunity to win this game, and we didn’t finish, we didn’t get it done,” Allen stated. “It stings. It sucks.”

QB breakdown: Whereas Dalton performed nicely for a lot of the recreation, his string of prime-time highway losses will proceed after the Saints failed to reply offensively towards the top of the sport. Dalton accomplished 20 of 28 passes for 225 yards and a landing, however he took a sack on the crew’s last offensive drive and wasn’t helped by his pass-catchers, with Hill dropping a deep throw that may have been a primary down. Dalton did not make any large errors, however the Saints kicked too many subject targets as an alternative of stepping into the top zone and could not come up large when it counted.

Rashid Shaheed’s breakout efficiency: The undrafted rookie broad receiver from Weber State has more and more been getting extra probabilities within the offense due to his blazing pace and return potential. Shaheed did extra than simply flash Monday, he proved on a nationwide stage that he ought to be a weekly a part of the offense. Not solely did Shaheed return a punt for 41 yards, however he was electrifying nearly each time he caught the ball, ending with a career-high 4 receptions for 71 yards. He has been one of many shiny spots for the struggling Saints.

Promising pattern: The Saints have been one of many worst groups within the league in turnover differential all season, heading into Monday with solely two interceptions from the protection. It took Brady to alter that. Brady had solely two interceptions all season coming into this recreation, however he has been a chief goal for picks in opposition to this protection since he joined Tampa Bay in 2020. New Orleans picked him off as soon as, rising his complete to 9 interceptions in opposition to the Saints as a Buccaneer, and in addition compelled a fumble. Whereas it could possibly be an indication their luck is altering in that division, it additionally appears like too little, too late to save lots of their season.

Eye-popping NFL Subsequent Gen Stats stat: Hill’s 30-yard receiving landing was the primary TD he has scored in 10 profession video games in opposition to the Buccaneers. He has not confronted another crew greater than 3 times with out a landing.

Subsequent recreation: vs. Atlanta Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Dec. 18)