By Joseph Chambers
CHATTANOOG, TENN (mocsnews.com)
The New Orleans Saints intercepted Tom Brady twice in his Tampa Bay debut, Alvin Kamara scored touchdowns for the Saints, and the Saints beat the Buccaneers 34-23 on Sunday, September 13.
Brady’s interceptions had an immediate impact on the field as they both ended in either an easy touchdown drive with Kamara or a defensive touchdown from Saints player, Janoris Jenkins. Neither Quarterback played up to their usual standards. Drew Brees passed for only 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Few witnessed this historically significant quarterback matchup in person, with government leaders and the Saints having agreed that no fans should attend the opener amid the coronavirus pandemic. This decision turned the normally deafening 73,000-seat Superdome into more of an echo chamber. When Wil Lutz’s field goal put New Orleans up 17-7, the squeaking of pulleys could be heard across the stadium as the net behind the goal post was lowered.
Tampa Bay’s opening drive was promising for Brady, who the Bucs hope can lead them to their first playoff appearance since the 2007 season. With a pass to Chris Godwin and a pass attempt that turned into a pass interference in favor of Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans followed by a two-yard touchdown by Evans to complete a great drive for the Bucs. This did not carry throughout the entire game as the Saints quickly capitalized on Brady’s mistakes in his Tampa Bay debut.
With social injustice having a huge impact lately it is important to recognize that both teams were standing on the sidelines during the national anthem. Apart from Malcolm Jenkins who is a co-founder of the Players Coalition, Jenkins walked out of tunnel towards the Saints bench after the national anthem was over.
There were several players listed as questionable for the game. Mike Evans had missed last week’s practice due to a hamstring injury but played on Sunday. Two-time All-Pro WR Michael Thomas appeared to be limping in the fourth quarter of the game which is big news for Saints fans as Thomas is the number one target for Brees.