/Sunday night massacre Saints ‘thonk’ Bucs

Sunday night massacre Saints ‘thonk’ Bucs

McAllister reached for his “Mississippi Twang” to complete the description. The 38-3 victory of the Saints over the previously 6-2 Bucs was a “thonking”. The win moves the 6-2 Saints half a game ahead of Tampa Bay at the NFC South. If the standings are tied, New Orleans would be the tiebreaker for the playoffs. The Saints are comfortably positioned at 3-6 with the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons as the other NFC South members. The Saints were underdogs by 4.5 points, played on the road, and faced Tom Brady, the most successful quarterback in NFL history. Brady? He was also sacked three times by the Saints, and many others were swarming him. He was made to look 43 years old by the Saints, who picked him up three times. This was Brady’s worst defeat in his Hall of Fame career. It just goes to show, even the most successful quarterback in league history can be defeated without pass protection or a running game. The Bucs did not have either. Perhaps the most important stat in this football season was the fact that the Bucs ran the ball five more times for eight yards. Five rushes in just four quarters. McAllister said, McAllister is almost as good an analyst as he is as an All Pro running back. “Five runs the whole game?” That’s crazy. It’s crazy. The Saints realized that the Bucs couldn’t or wouldn’t run the ball, and the defense began to race one another to reach Brady. Perhaps the most important takeaway from Sunday’s game was that the Saints looked, for the first-time in their entire season, like a Super Bowl contender. They looked like they could win it all. They won their fifth straight win, but it was the first by more than six. All three other victories were by just three points, and two of them were in overtime. The Saints had been barely scraping by and doing enough to win before. They put everything together this time: defense, offense and special teams. Drew Brees looked just like Drew Brees with all his receiving back from injuries or COVID and he retook the NFL’s career record for touchdown passes passing from Brady. (Brees has 564 and Brady has 561. This is 1,125 total touchdown passes. Let’s take a break and let these numbers sink in. Demario Davis, the Saints ball-hawking linebacker, clearly did. Post-game, Davis stated that he was referring to two of the most successful quarterbacks ever to play the game. This is history, and I don’t want it to end. It’s an incredible experience for all of us. Brady might have a different description. Brees had a running game that kept the Bucs defense in check, and when the Saints throw it, he often had enough time to brush his hair before picking out an open receiver. He looked as sharp as ever since his return to Millsaps College fourteen years ago. He was able to pass his 29 passes around to over a dozen receivers, which is amazing. Thomas Morstead was called by the Saints only once. This Saints win was so complete that Morstead responded with a loud, 51-yarder. It was indeed a thonking. Bruce Arians, the Bucs’ venerable head coach, was a thonking. His first full-time job was at Mississippi State in 1978. Arians said, “It was shocking… They kicked our ass every phase.”