After upsetting the Rams and matching their franchise single-game scoring record, the Bucs had a tall task in taking down New Orleans in the Superdome.
Unfortunately, they were unable to replicate last weeks offensive performance, and fell to their division rival, unable to control the either side of line of scrimmage.
Coming off of his NFC Player of the Week performance, Jameis Winston threw for just 204 yards, and Mike Evans was completely shut down by Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. This is the first game he’s gone without a reception since the Bucs faced the Saints, of all teams, in 2015.
The Bucs elected to receive the kickoff, and neither team could get anything going as the first three drives of the game resulted in punts.
The Saints garnered some momentum first, and moved the ball 53 yards down the field for a 29 yard field goal, putting them up 3-0.
The Bucs still had no response of offense and put up another 3 and out. However, Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater threw his first New Orleans career interception allowing the Tampa Bay to grab a touchdown in just 2 plays, giving them their only lead for the game at 7-3.
Brigdewater responded with a 75 yard drive down the field for a touchdown, and the Bucs could only produce a field goal in return, tying the game up at 10-10.
The Bucs took a hit with a targeting call on CB Carlton Davis. After he was ejected from the game, it became very difficult for the Bucs secondary to cover the pass so on the Saints next drive Bridgewater found tight end Jared Cook in the end zone to put New Orleans up 17-10 at the half.
— Gabriel Schray PxP (@schrayguy) October 6, 2019
The Saints came out strong in the second half, and put the game up by two scores by going 75 yards downfield three plays for another TD.
On the next drive, Tampa Bay also went for 75 yards a TB as running back Peyton Barber found his way into the end zone after 17 plays. They cut the Saints lead to 7 with a score of 24-17.
Both teams stalled offensively as the game clock was running down. However, Bridgewater threw his 4th TD of and second of the game to receiver Michael Thomas (photo above) and put them back up by two scores. Thomas finished with a tremendous 11 catch 182 yard day on the Tampa Bay secondary.
The Bucs were unable to respond, and the O Line allowed Winston to be sacked four times in the fourth quarter. With about two minutes left in the game on their last drive, where Winston connected with Godwin for a score with only 13 seconds left in the game, and little chance for a Buccaneer victory.
After an unsuccessful onside kick attempt from Tampa Bay, Bridgewater took a knee and and took home the 31-24 victory in his third unbeaten game as the Saints starting QB.
Bucs Evans got respect from LeBron James Saturday night
The new present day cliche’ for respect among athletes/opponents in sports is: “Game Recognizes Game.” And, there was a neat example of that Saturday night, as the Houston Rockets of the NBA hosted the L.A. Lakers. That’s when iconic NBA star LeBron James of the Lakers came over to acknowledge Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans in the seats behind him.
Always a pleasure watching the 🐐 https://t.co/79bRp1hoxp
— Mike Evans (@MikeEvans13_) January 19, 2020
As you probably know, James is arguably the most recognizable and successful NBA hoops player worldwide in the last 10+ years. He’s a 15 time All Star, a four time MVP, and helped the Miami Heat win two World Championships. And, then came back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who originally drafted him out of high school, and led them to the city’s epic first professional title in any sport in over 50 years back in 2016.
And, LeBron has the Lakers rolling at 34-8 with another win in Houston last night.
As for Evans, he is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers biggest offensive weapon and was having a tremendous 2019 season statistically until it was cut short with a hamstring injury in the Bucs early December win over the Indianapolis Colts.
That’s when Evans suffered a severe hamstring injury on a 61 yard touchdown catch from Jameis Winston and did not play another down in 2019. Still, he joined teammate Chris Godwin, as they both went over 1,000 yards for the season, which was the first time in Tampa Bay history that that happened.
Evans is also only the second player in league history, besides Randy Moss, to have 1,000 or more yards receiving in a season in his first six years in the NFL.
Further, it’s also well-known that Evan is a huge fan of the NBA and he’s originally from Galveston, Texas and play in college at Texas A&M. So, it’s only fitting that he would be courtside during the off-season and the Rockets game against the Lakers.
Evans has made mention earlier in his career that he had met and talked to LeBron James on previous occasions. One reason that Evans brought that up during the season, was his touchdown celebration dance when Tampa Bay outgunned the L.A. Rams in late September.
In that 48 – 40 win Evans caught this clinching fourth-quarter bomb touchdown from Winston and then, celebrated with LeBron James’s signature dance move
The @Buccaneers offense is putting the smack down on this Rams D…
It’s now 45-27 after this touchdown pass to Mike Evans.
(Via – @NFLonFOX)
🗣 Comment if you played any Bucs today! pic.twitter.com/pt2QJVWbcP
— FantasyDraft (@FantasyDraft) September 29, 2019
James has previously and frequently used that on the court after a big moment, a big win or a championship.
Again “Game recognizes Game,” and clearly James wanted to give some recognition to the Bucs star whiteout Saturday night courtside at his own game.
Several Bucs and Jaguars make PFWA All Rookie Team
The Pro Football Writers Association unveiled their 2019 All-Rookie team Tuesday, and there were four state NFL players on the list.
The 2019 PFWA All-Rookie Team and rookie honors: pic.twitter.com/mmHVHWWQFx
— Pro Football Writers (@PFWAwriters) January 14, 2020
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two of their defenders made the 11-person defensive list. First round pick outside linebacker, Devin White, who was named the Rookie of the month by the NFL for both November and December is there. White came on strong in the second half of the season, including scoring two defensive touchdowns on fumble returns down the stretch.
Also on the list was Buccaneers rookie defensive back Sean Murphy-Bunting, who’s play improved as the season went on. Murphy-Bunting also recorded a game-clinching interception return for a touchdown against Detroit in December.
For the Jaguars, their first-round pick Josh Allen is also part of the all-defensive unit. Allen recorded 10.5 sacks and had another 11 tackles for loss in his inaugural season in Jacksonville. The PFWAA also placed Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor on their all rookie offensive team. Taylor was solid as a starter on the right side of the Jags line.
Although it’s not surprising is that the writers selected former number one overall pick Kyler Murray of Arizona, as their top rookie quarterback, there was an argument to be made for Jaguars rookie Gardner Minshew at that position.
Minshew won six games as a starter, including leading the Jaguars to three different last-minute victories, which was one more than what Murray had this season despite him having better stats and more starts.
PFWA did not place a Dolphin on any of their all-rookie teams. Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, whom they took in the first round, could have received some consideration as he played solidly this season.
The writers selected defensive end Nick Bosa of the 49ers, not only at their Defensive player of the year, but their overall Rookie of the Year for 2019. They did choose Oakland running back Josh Jacobs, as their offensive Rookie of the Year.
The NFL will announce its own all-rookie teams and Rookies of the year prior to the playing of Super Bowl 54 in Miami next month.
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