There are some moments in life that need to be appreciated. Getting your first NFL win should definitely be one of them. Jameis Winston accomplished that on Sunday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on the road in what is typically considered a hostile environment against the New Orleans Saints.
The first big play of the game came in the first quarter, when Jacquies Smith got a sack on Drew Brees for a 21 yard loss. That pushed the Saints all the way back to their own two yard line before Thomas Morstead came out for their first punt of the game. Tampa didn't do much with the field position though, but they did enough to score as Kyle Brindza would nail a 55 yard field goal to take an early three point advantage.
Brindza wasn't perfect though, as the next time they were in field goal range and he attempted a 52 yard field goal, he missed it short, which gave the Saints good field position.
Marques Colston was the man who was able to move the chains as he converted two receptions for first downs and a total of 45 yards on the drive before Mark Ingram would run it in from 11 yards out for the Saints to take the lead with just under two minutes left in the half.
But it was not halftime yet. Vincent Jackson made a key catch on a third and 16 for 17 yards and a first down and then later in the drive had the 15 yard touchdown reception to put the Bucs up 10-7 at the half.
The Bucs got the ball to start the second half and started to feed Doug Martin the ball to get some clock going and to show a balanced offense. Brandon Browner had a huge penalty though for the Saints on a defensive pass interference that got the ball all the way to the one yard line, where Winston would take it in himself for the touchdown. Now they were up 17-7 and feeling a groove.
That groove moved to the defense as Chris Conte wound up getting an interception and then tossed a lateral to Alterraun Verner to get a bigger return off the turnover. Despite getting the ball to the red zone it would end up being another Brindza kick as he made it from 35 yards out this time.
The Saints had another turnover as Willie Snead fumbled the ball away on the next Saints possession. D.J. Swearinger recovered the ball and the Bucs were back in business again. They got the ball down to the three yard line but couldn't get the touchdown as Brindza again was relied upon for the 22 yard field goal.
The Saints then went to the running game on their next drive as they were struggling through the passing game. Austin Johnson would wind up bringing the ball across the line but couldn't convert the two point conversion as they were now down 23-13 and needed to get something going.
Their defense started to make some plays though. Jameis Winston and Doug Martin both fumbled on each of their next possessions. Zach Hocker would ruin one opportunity as he missed a 42 yard field goal wide left. Snead would make up for his previous fumble though as he caught a 16 yard touchdown pass to bring the Saints closer as they were only down 23-19 at this point. Mark Ingram would fumble though as the Saints now could have had a basket full of turnovers they've given away in this game and Brindza would kick another field goal and the Saints would be down to one timeout and under two minutes left to try and tie the game as they were down 26-19.
They would end up getting the ball down to the Bucs 27 yard line, but they simply ran out of time. Which is difficult for the Saints as that moves them to 0-2 on the season as the Buccaneers go to 1-1.
Passing: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (24/38, 255 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception)
Rushing: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (21 carries, 78 yards)
Receiving: Louis Murphy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 catches, 82 yards)
Next up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a road matchup against the Houston Texans (0-2). The Saints will have to go on the road as well as they will go up against the Carolina Panthers (2-0).