Saints Fall to Bucs, 27-23

Doug Miller, NewOrleansSaints.com
Sunday, December 02, 2007 – 6:20 PM

New Orleans – Seemingly in control of the game late in the fourth quarter after Saints DE Will Smith sacked Tampa Bay QB Luke McCown for a safety that gave the Saints a 23-20 lead and the football near midfield, everything fell apart of the New Orleans Saints in a hard-fought NFC South battle.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored a TD on a four-yard pass from QB Luke McCown to TE Jerramy Stevens with :14 left to hand the Saints a 27-23 loss to the first place Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Saints had control of the football at their own 49 yard-line with 3:36 left in the game when the Saints tried a reverse from Reggie Bush to Devery Henderson that was recovered by Tampa Bay DE Jovan Haye at the NO 37 with 3:30 remaining in the game.

The Bucs then drove the remaining 37 yards in scored the go-ahead touchdown on a fade route with just :14 left, sending the Saints to a heart-wrenching defeat and in a fight for their lives for a wild-card berth in the NFC playoff picture.

“This is a really disappointing loss and I feel it’s probably the worst job I’ve done as a head coach since I have been here,” said Head Coach Sean Payton to begin his post-game press conference. “When we got safety and the ball near midfield, we certainly had every opportunity to win this game. I just feel terrible.”

Payton stated that the play-call was a call the Saints have in their short-yardage running package that is intended to combat an aggressive defense that is intent on flying to the football.

Payton didn’t point out that the same play was used in 2006 against the Atlanta Falcons and resulted in a touchdown by Devery Henderson.

“It was one of those things were if we handle that play, it probably results in a big play,” said QB Drew Brees. “It was something that they weren’t expecting but something we had to execute, and we didn’t. If we hit that play we probably only have to pick up one more first down and we win the game.

“It’s heartbreaking because we laid it all on the line. We still have a chance for the playoffs and when we play like we can, we are a playoff team. But it’s something we are going to have to dig deep to find and not let it happen again.”

One Response to “Saints Fall to Bucs, 27-23”

  1. LadyB says:

    Well, it’s taken me almost a week but I’m finally able to talk about last week’s game with lapsing into a cursing fit.

    I’ve seen posts over on nola.com of people just bashing Sean Payton like there’s no tomorrow.. it’s amazing to me how fast people can turn on a person. tsk tsk

    I for one, still have complete confidence in our head coach, and that hasn’t wavered. He’s a young coach and he’ll make mistakes like the rest of us do. But overall, I wouldn’t trade him for any other coach out there. And one thing is certain.. I seriously doubt that he’ll be making that same mistake again anytime soon. lol