Saints lose opener for fifth straight season

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints haven’t won a regular season opener since 2013, against the Bucs, that streak of futility continued.

Tampa Bay shocked the Saints at home, 48-40. The Black and Gold entered the contest 9.5-point favorites.

Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick routinely burned the Saints secondary all day. He finished with a stat line of 21-28 passing, 417 yards, and four touchdowns.

Drew Brees went 37-45 passing, 439 yards, and three touchdowns.

The Saints started off the scoring with an unconventional play. Brees lined up at receiver, Taysom Hill at quarterback. Kamara took the handoff from Hill for a 5-yard touchdown, giving the Black and Gold a 7-0 advantage.

The Bucs answered on the very next drive, Ryan Fitzpatrick found a wide open DeSean Jackson for a 58-yard touchdown. The Saints defense suffered a blown coverage, with Vonn Bell the culprit.

The Bucs continued scoring, this time on a Ryan Fitzpatrick QB keeper. The 3-yard touchdown gave Tampa their first lead of the contest, 14-10.

You can’t keep the Saints offense down for long, Brees responded on the Black and Gold’s very next possession. No. 9 hit Ted Ginn, Jr. in stride for a 28-yard score. The pitch-and-catch spotted the Saints a 17-14 lead.

The Bucs scored 17 unanswered points, including a Fitzpatrick to Chris Godwin 9-yard touchdown connection, and a Justin Evans 34-yard fumble return for a score. The Saints turnover, and eventual touchdown, gave Tampa a 31-17 lead.

The Saints responded right before half, Brees connected for a 6-yard touchdown with Michael Thomas.

Brees finished the first half with 238 yards passing, with two touchdowns.

In the second half, it was more of Fitzpatrick magic. The backup quarterback (Jameis Winston is suspended) hit Mike Evans for a 50-yard score.

The Saints defense got shredded by the Bucs air attack all day. (Source: Mark LaGrange)
The Saints defense got shredded by the Bucs air attack all day. (Source: Mark LaGrange) (Mark Lagrange)

The Bucs offense remained unstoppable. Fitzpatrick hit Jackson for a 36-yard connection, doubling the Tampa lead to 48-24.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.