Bucs-Saints Game Summary

Here is the scoring summary for Tampa Bay's 31-14 victory over New Orleans, plus position grades for the Bucs.

Buccaneers 31, Saints 14

Game summary

First quarter

TB: Carnell Williams 1 run (Matt Bryant kick), 5:25

Drive: 8 plays, 57 yards, 4:36 time of possession

Key play: Bucs LB Barrett Ruud forces and recovers a fumble from Saints RB Deuce McAllister near midfield.

Tampa Bay 7, New Orleans 0

Second quarter

TB: Joey Galloway 69 pass from Jeff Garcia (Bryant kick), 13:09

Drive: 3 plays, 68 yards, 1:37

Key play: Galloway ran a crossing route and Michael Clayton delivered a big block to the Saints' Kevin Kaesviharn, clearing Galloway's route to the end zone.

Tampa Bay 14, New Orleans 0

TB: Galloway 24 pass from Garcia (Bryant kick), 1:05

Drive: 2 plays, 65 yards, :36

Key play: Garcia took advantage of a linebacker in coverage on WR Ike Hilliard and turned it into a 41-yard gain.

Tampa Bay 21, New Orleans 0

Third quarter

TB: Williams 1 run (Bryant kick), 4:26

Drive: 5 plays, 53 yards, 2:39

Key play: Bucs LB Cato June intercepted Saints QB Drew Brees to give the Bucs the ball, and Galloway dove to make a 49-yard catch on the next play to put the Bucs at the Saints 9.

Tampa Bay 28, New Orleans 0

NO: Mike Karney 1 run (Olindo Mare kick), :49

Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards, 3:37

Key play: David Patten's 59-yard catch set up the Saints at the Buccaneer 11.

Tampa Bay 28, New Orleans 7

Fourth quarter

TB: Bryant 27 field goal, 7:30

Drive: 8 plays, 25 yards, 4:11

Key play: The Saints failed to convert on fourth down, giving the Bucs the ball at the Saints 34.

Tampa Bay 31, New Orleans 7

NO: Marques Colston 4 pass from Drew Brees (Mare kick), 2:56

Drive: 11 plays, 78 yards, 4:40

Key play: Brees' 22-yard pass to Lance Moore put the Saints at the Bucs 22.

Tampa Bay 31, New Orleans 14

Statistics

Rushing

Tampa Bay

Player — No. — Yds. — Avg. — TD

Carnell Williams — 24 — 61 — 2.5 — 2

Michael Pittman — 5 — 18 — 3.6 — 0

Jeff Garcia — 2 — 6 — 3.0 — 0

Earnest Graham — 1 — 2 — 2.0 — 0

Totals — 32 — 87 — 2.7 — 2

New Orleans

Player — No. — Yds. — TD — Lg.

Deuce McAllister — 10 — 49 — 4.9 — 0

Reggie Bush — 10 — 27 — 2.7 — 0

Mike Karney — 3 — 13 — 4.3 — 1

Drew Brees — 3 — 10 — 3.3 — 0

Totals — 26 — 99 — 3.8 — 1

Passing

Tampa Bay

Player — Att. — Co. — Yds. — TD — INT

Jeff Garcia — 16 — 10 — 243 — 2 — 0

Totals — 16 — 10 — 243 — 2 — 0

New Orleans

Player — Att. — Co. — Yds. — TD — INT

Drew Brees — 44 — 26 — 260 — 1 — 1

Totals — 44 — 26 — 260 — 1 — 1

Receiving

Tampa Bay

Player — No. — Yds. — TD — Lg.

Joey Galloway — 4 — 135 — 2 — 69t

Ike Hilliard — 2 — 51 — 0 — 41

Alex Smith — 2 — 45 — 0 — 33

Michael Pittman — 1 — 11 — 0 — 11

B.J. Askew — 1 — 1 — 0 — 1

Totals — 10 — 243 — 2 — 69t

New Orleans

Player — No. — Yds. — Avg. — TD — Lg.

Marques Colston — 8 — 70 — 1 — 16

Reggie Bush — 6 — 43 — 0 — 11

Lance Moore — 3 — 46 — 0 — 22

Eric Johnson — 3 — 18 — 0 — 8

David Patten — 2 — 66 — 0 — 58

Deuce McAllister — 1 — 7 — 0 — 7

Terrance Copper — 1 — 6 — 0 — 6

John Owens — 1 — 4 — 0 — 4

Mike Karney — 1 — 0 — 0 — 0

Totals — 26 — 260 — 1 — 58

Bucs Gradebook

Quarterback: A. Hard to quibble with Jeff Garcia today. He finished with a 145.8 QB rating and wasn't sacked. Plus, he kept the offense moving. This is the kind of game-changing play Jon Gruden envisioned when he brought Garcia here.

Running backs: B+. The Bucs are undefeated when Carnell Williams has 21 or more carries. This would have been an A if Williams had cleared 100 yards. But as he neared 20 carries, it was apparent the Bucs had the Saints front four worn down.

Wide receivers: B+. Joey Galloway had a monster day, and Ike Hilliard had some nice catches. But the rest of the group? It needs work. The inability of the pass offense to get beyond Galloway and Hilliard consistently is troubling.

Offensive line: B. They protected well, and blocked much better in run situations in the second half. You get the sense that this group is starting to develop some chemistry. The line didn't give up a sack today.

Defensive line: A. There's the pressure. Oddly, they had the same pressure stats as last week. But their liberal rotation kept the Saints OL and Drew Brees off-balance. Both sacks came from DEs.

Linebackers: A. Cato June's INT was a big momentum changer. Barrett Ruud had another 11-tackle day, plus forced a big fumble. Derrick Brooks added 9 tackles.

Secondary: A. Don't let the two garbage TDs fool you. This unit dominated the Saints. They broke up eight passes. Special honors go to Phillip Buchanon, who made two big plays early in place of Brian Kelly.

Special teams: B. This unit didn't have to do much. Mark Jones had a fine day as a returner. Josh Bidwell had a couple of groaners on punts, and Matt Bryant was perfect.

Overall grade: A-. Just about as complete an effort as the Bucs have had in the last 12 months. An efficient offense, a pressure-inducing defense and big plays on both sides of the ball signaled the end of the Saints' 2006 honeymoon. The Bucs aren't playoff players yet, but if they can do this consistently they will be.


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