New Orleans Saints walk the plank in 35-28 victory over Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Oct. 21, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) celebrates with quarterback Drew Brees (9) after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Things didn’t look promising for the New Orleans Saints at first as Drew Brees had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and was intercepted by cornerback Ronde Barber which led to a one-play drive for a touchdown by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Saints offense sputtered again and the Buccaneers leaped ahead with a touchdown run by rookie running back Doug Martin and increased the lead to 14-0.

With under two minutes in the first quarter, Brees engineered a drive that was capped off by 14-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston who skated in to cut the Bucs lead to 14-7.

The Bucs answered with a touchdown at the 13:26 mark of the second quarter holding a 21-7 lead.  But that would be the last that they would strike as the rest of the second quarter would belong to the Saints.

Brees would throw three touchdowns to go into halftime by hitting running back Darren Sproles(9-yd TD), wide receiver Joe Morgan(48-yd TD), and tight end Dave Thomas(20-yd TD) advancing the Saints lead to 28-21.

Neither team would see the endzone until the Saints scored early in the fourth quarter when Saints running back Pierre Thomas went five yards for a touchdown making it 35-21.

The two teams then went back and forth until 4:16 when Bucs tight end Dallas Clark caught a touchdown pass to bring the gap a bit closer at 35-28.

With two minutes remaining, the Saints punted to the Bucs and quarterback Josh Freeman attempted to send the game into overtime by eating chunks of the field up with deep passes.

With five seconds left, no time outs, and 4th and 9 in Saints territory, Freeman connected with wide receiver Mike Williams for a touchdown.  However, Williams was flagged for being out of bounds initially and was the first to touch the ball.  The Bucs were called for illegal touching and the Saints won since time expired.