Slow starting Bucs trail Saints 17-10 at halftime
The Bucs used a late field goal to cut the Saints halftime lead to 17-10. Tampa Bay trailed 14-0 after a lackluster start by the offense. Here are some first half observations.
BAD START BY THE OFFENSE: Playing against a Saints defense that is the worst in the NFL, the Bucs offense did nothing until late in the first half and left their defense hung out to dry against Saints QB Drew Bress and company. Donovan Smith had a holding penalty on the first play of the game, negating a 36-yard completion to WR Vincent Jackson, who had to leave the game after aggravating a knee injury. Mike Evans did not have a target in the first half.
BUCS ARE STRUGGLING IN PASS DEFENSE: Brees carved the Bucs up in the first half. He went 19 of 22 passing for 196 yards and 2 TDs, both to Marques Colston. Tampa Bay can’t get pressure on Brees. Their only sack came on a blitz by Bruce Carter. The Saints were 7-of-9 on third down.
BUCS CAN’T GET THE RUN GAME GOING: RB Doug Martin had 30 yards on six carries, including his 14-yard TD run. The Bucs trail in total yards 226 to 117.
INJURIES: As mentioned, the Bucs lost Jackson to a knee injury. Scary moment came when LB Lavonte David and DT Gerald McCoy were hurt on the same play. Both players returned.