Dec 28, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints wrapped up their 2014 season by knocking off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-20.
The first half was fairly atrocious, to say the very least, as the Saints were outgained 248-111 in total offense. The team struggled heavily out of the gate, as the offense started with a three and out. The Saints only had the ball for 10:16 as opposed to 19:44 for the Bucs. After trailing 10-0 after the first quarter of play, the Saints would show signs of life with a nice 12 play, 80 yard drive in 5:40. Khiry Robinson capped it off by running for a 1-yard score.
First half play could have been summed up like this:
In the second half, Brees had two costly interception that killed promising drives. The last interception resulted from a poor decision by Brees trying to thread in a pass to Kenny Stills in triple coverage.
Down 20-7 to begin the fourth quarter, the Saints mounted a comeback, courtesy of some good overall play from the team. It all started when Mark Ingram punched in a touchdown from a yard out. The Saints would get a turnover late in the game off a great heads up play by Keenan Lewis to intercept Josh McCown off of a tipped pass. Drew Brees would find Marques Colston for a beautiful 36-yard touchdown with 1:57 left in the game to put the Saints up 21-20.
On the Bucs final drive, the Saints defense came alive more than ever, as Cam Jordan and Junior Galette would have back to back sacks. Galette’s ended up as a safety (where does that sound familiar?), and the Saints would get the ensuing onside attempt to kneel down and win the game.
The team avoided suffering their first double digit losing season since 2005, when they finished out 3-13. The Saints handed the Bucs their eighth home loss and six divisional loss of the season. Drew Brees failed to eclipse another consecutive 5,000-yard passing season, and Mark Ingram fell short of 1,000 rushing yards by 36.
Finally, we can put an end to the Saints 2014 season, and at least it ended on a positive note. Arguably, you can just sum it up by saying: disappointing. The bleeding can stop, you can stop torturing yourselves with having to sit through lackluster effort and poor play. The Saints season is over.
It’s time to move on to 2015, and it starts tomorrow, as we anticipate potential moves on ‘Black Monday‘.