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Saints Drop Candy Corn in Bucs' Halloween Bucket

The Saints spoil the Bucs Halloween by dropping candy corn in their buckets in the Superdome.

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints are 5-2 after knocking off the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in a rather crazy Halloween upset. Unlikely heroes powered the way for the team, and in the end it was the defense who came up huge to help the team escape with a huge victory.

Game Recap

The Bucs started out Sunday's game with the ball after the Saints won the coin toss and elected to defer. Tampa Bay went three-and-out on their first series, as the start of their drive went for a 1-yard loss due to Pete Werner stopping Leonard Fournette. They got off the field pretty quickly after the wide receiver screen play didn't hit on 3rd Down.

New Orleans got their first crack on offense, getting Alvin Kamara involved immediately in the passing game. On 3rd-and-9 after a Terron Armstead false start penalty, Jameis Winston would scramble 20 yards to pick up a Saints first down, but would hit a wall after going for it on the ensuing 4th-and-1 play from their own territory. Kamara was stuffed short and wasn't close. So, Tampa took over from the Saints' 44-yard-line at the 10:54 mark of the opening quarter.

The Bucs would take advantage of the short field, putting together a 6-play, 44-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard Tom Brady to Chris Godwin hookup to put the Bucs up 7-0 with 8:28 to go in the opening frame. New Orleans had some opportunities, but both of Godwin's catches ended up being big on the drive.

The Saints offense settled down and were able to put together a scoring drive of their own on the ensuing possession, going 75 yards in 11 plays. The drive was highlighted by some Jameis Winston scrambles and two good plays by Mark Ingram in the receiving department. New Orleans got into the end zone after Winston found Tre'Quan Smith on a beautifully thrown ball and route for the 16-yard touchdown to tie things up at 7-7 with 2:39 left in the first quarter.

The Bucs had an opportunity on their next drive, getting several good gains on their first few plays with Ronald Jones, Mike Evans, and Jaelon Darden. They'd get across midfield to start the second quarter, but the Saints defense stood tall on the 2nd-and-2 play and 3rd-and-3 snap to force a Bucs punt with 13:22 left until the half.

New Orleans started at their own 8-yard-line, and the drive could not have went worse for the offense. The main reason was due to Jameis Winston getting injured after a horse collar tackle from Devin White. The Saints got a beneficial penalty from it, but Winston was injured on the play and eventually forced out of the game and carted to the locker room. 

Tampa got another drive going, once again getting into Saints territory after a few plays, which was fueled by a Tyler Johnson 31-yard play on 3rd-and-11. Three plays later, Cam Jordan came up with a huge defensive play by stripping Tom Brady, and David Onyemata would recover to have the Saints take over.

With Trevor Siemian at the helm, the Saints offense certainly had an uphill battle ahead of them. Siemian connected with Garrett Griffin on a couple of nice gains, and New Orleans was able to net a 23-yard Brian Johnson field goal out of things after the 10-play, 58-yard drive that took 5:16 off the clock. The drive also saw one roughing the passer penalty not called, but two others did get called on the Bucs defense, one of them that wiped out a pick in the end zone by Antoine Winfield Jr. The Saints took a 10-7 lead with 2:20 to play until the half.

Tampa immediately rattled off a big play, a 24-yard run by Giovani Bernard that went up to the 49-yard-line. On the very next play, the defense was able to help take some pressure off in a big way, as C.J. Gardner-Johnson picked off Tom Brady and returned it back to the Bucs' 35-yard-line. Siemian found Tre'Quan Smith for a 15-yard gain after Mark Ingram bursted in with an 11-yard run. Just a couple plays later, they'd finish the drive with Siemian finding Alex Armah for a 1-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-Goal. Johnson would miss the extra point, but the Saints went up 16-7 with 29 seconds left in the half.

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Second Half

The Saints came out aggressive to start the half, and it paid off in a big way, as Siemian hit Kevin White for a 38-yard gain on the first play. New Orleans kept moving the ball down the field, getting a huge 4th-and-4 conversion to Deonte Harris in Bucs territory. Alvin Kamara followed that up by getting a 15-yard gain to get into the 10-yard-line. It came down to a 4th-and-Goal from the 1-yard-line, but the Saints managed to punch it in via Alvin Kamara to go up 23-7 with 9:01 left in the third quarter.

The Bucs would not simply go away, putting together an 8-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a Brady touchdown pass to Giovani Bernard from 7 yards out to make it 23-14 with 5:33 to go in the third quarter. Two plays before, it appeared that the Saints got the ball back after Malcolm Jenkins stripped Leonard Fournette near the goal line after a completed catch. However, the play would be reviewed and determined that Fournette never had possession of the ball. Two plays later, they got into the end zone. A big 44-yard play by Chris Godwin also helped the Bucs early in the drive.

A quick three-and-out for the Saints gave the ball right back to the Bucs, and they didn't disappoint. It took Tampa 3:11 to run 5 plays and march 69 yards to make it 23-21 with 1:15 to play in the third quarter. Brady hit Mike Evans for a 41-yard touchdown pass to cap it off.

New Orleans ran off another unimpressive three-and-out series, but recovered defensively to get the ball back with 12:08 left in the game. The offense would put together a strong series, but end up settling for a 35-yard Brian Johnson field goal to go up 26-21 with 8:31 left in the game. Devin White got a 15-yard taunting penalty after a 6-yard Mark Ingram run several plays into the drive, and Siemian connected with Deonte Harris for a 14-yard gain on the next play to put them at the Bucs' 21-yard-line. Unfortunately, they stalled out, but managed to be able to get an important field goal.

It took Tampa just a couple plays to get into the end zone to take the lead, as Brady found Cyril Grayson for a 50-yard touchdown strike with 5:44 to play. Grayson was wide open, as it appeared there was some busted coverage in the Saints secondary. The 2-point try was no good, but the damage was done as the Bucs took a 27-26 lead with 5:44 to play in the game. 

Facing a deficit, the Saints mounted a drive of their own. Some trickery led to a 22-yard Deonte Harris run off a reverse play. On an important 3rd-and-5, it appeared that the Bucs would force a field goal attempt on the Saints, but a defensive holding call on Jordan Whitehead wiped it out to keep the Saints alive. Callaway followed that up by hauling in a 16-yard reception. 

Out of the 2-minute warning, Sean Payton opted for three straight passes, and only the 3rd Down one hit to Kamara. Brian Johnson converted the 23-yard goal after the 12-play, 70-yard drive to put the Saints up 29-27 with 1:41 to go in the game.

With Brady having an opportunity to win the game, P.J. Williams shut the door just a couple of plays in by picking him off and returning it for a touchdown to go up 36-27 with 1:24 to play. They'd come again defensively and take the ball on downs after a couple of sacks.

New Orleans will be at home again for Week 9, as they welcome the Falcons to town in another important NFC South matchup.