Trevor Siemian, Saints Hold Off Tom Brady, Buccaneers After Jameis Winston Injury

AP Photo/Derick Hingle

The New Orleans Saints earned a 36-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Caesars Superdome.

Brian Johnson put the home team up 29-27 with a 23-yard field goal.

Tom Brady had 1:41 to get Tampa Bay in position for the game-winning score. P.J. Williams quickly ended the drama when he picked off a pass by Brady and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.

NFL @NFL

P.J. Williams Pick-6! <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saints?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Saints</a><br><br>📺: <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TBvsNO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TBvsNO</a> on FOX<br>📱: NFL app <a href=”https://t.co/Nop3BECDEN”>pic.twitter.com/Nop3BECDEN</a>

The outcome probably didn’t bring the measure of revenge Jameis Winston was hopeful of gaining.

Leading up to his first start against his old team, Winston said that while he hoped to keep his emotions in check, he wanted to “beat them bad.” Getting one over on Tampa Bay likely felt a little sweeter for the 2015 Pro Bowler, though he didn’t get to partake in much of the game.

The result means the Saints (5-2) are now within a game of Tampa Bay (6-2) for first place in the NFC South.


Notable Performers

Trevor Siemian, QB, Saints: 16-of-29, 159 yards, one touchdown

Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints: 19 carries, 61 yards, one touchdown; three receptions, 15 yards

Tom Brady, QB, Bucs: 28-of-40, 375 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions

Chris Godwin, WR, Bucs: eight receptions, 140 yards, one touchdown


Siemian Does Just Enough

The Saints turned the ball over on downs on their first possession, but then Winston engineered a nearly six-minute drive that culminated in a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith.

New Orleans Saints @Saints

Winston drops a dime to Smith for the 16-yd TD 🙌<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TBvsNO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TBvsNO</a> | 📺: FOX <a href=”https://t.co/kqb72Tc7Ym”>pic.twitter.com/kqb72Tc7Ym</a>

It looked like the offense would soldier on nicely following Winston’s injury. Trevor Siemian put together three straight scoring drives across the first and second halves. He wasn’t playing like a quarterback who had made one appearance since 2017.

Siemian’s success didn’t last as the Saints struggled to add to their point total following Alvin Kamara’s one-yard touchdown run at the 9:01 mark of the third quarter.

But the 29-year-old deserves credit because he avoided any costly mistakes and took what the Buccaneers gave him on the Saints’ pivotal final possession. A holding penalty on Bucs cornerback Ross Cockrell on third down allowed the possession to continue, and Siemian capitalized on the good fortune by finding Marquez Callaway to set up a 1st-and-goal.

Settling for a field goal didn’t seem like a great outcome yet proved to be enough.


Self-Inflicted Wounds Prove Costly for Bucs

The Buccaneers averaged more yards (324.3) than any team in the league and had the fourth-best turnover margin (plus-seven) coming into Sunday’s contest.

The Super Bowl champions were uncharacteristically sloppy in the first half against New Orleans. They trailed 16-7 heading into the locker room thanks in no small part to a pair of turnovers by Brady.

Brady fumbled midway through the second quarter while getting sacked by Cam Jordan. Then he threw an interception to C.J. Gardner-Johnson right after the two-minute warning.

In the second half, Tampa Bay played more to type. Brady brought his team to within two points, 23-21, with 1:22 left in the third quarter after touchdown throws to Giovani Bernard and Mike Evans.

The tide was turning firmly in the Bucs’ favor when a busted coverage allowed Cyril Grayson to get wide open and haul in the first touchdown of his NFL career. The nearest Saints player was almost entirely out of frame when Grayson first made the catch.

Williams’ pick-six nonetheless capped off a frustrating day at the office for head coach Bruce Arians and his squad.

Three turnovers and committing 11 penalties for 99 yards is a recipe for disaster.


What’s Next?

The Saints host the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 7. The Bucs head into their bye and return to the field Nov. 14 against the Washington Football Team.

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