If you are wondering how the New Orleans Saints went down Saturday, it was without fighting.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) and quarterback Baker Mayfield sucked the life out of the Saints (2-2) along with 70,000 cheering fans in Caesar’s Superdome to take a 26-9 win back home to Florida.
The former Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma threw for 246 yards and three touchdown passes. Mayfield’s stat line through the air accounted for more yards than the entire Saints offense, which put together just 197 total yards on the day.
“When you get beat like that, you’ve got to look at it all,” New Orleans head coach Dennis Allen said after the game. “So, I think we’ve got to be better in a lot of areas.”
While quarterback Derek Carr found a way to play for the Saints after suffering an injury last Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, the black and gold offense was plagued by dropped passes and allowing Carr to be pressured virtually every possession.
And the defense wasn’t much better. New Orleans rookie defensive tackle Bryan Bresee found the first full sack of his career. However, it was the only sack of the day for the unit. One turnover forced, an interception by Isaac Yiadom, was quickly erased when fullback Adam Prentice fumbled the ball on the goal line just seconds before halftime.
All scoring from the Saints came off the foot of rookie kicker Blake Grupe. Carr finished the day 23 of 37 passing for 127 yards with a lost fumble. Running back Alvin Kamara, in his first game back after a three-game suspension, rushed for 51 yards on 11 carries while catching 13 passes for 33 yards.
Mayfield’s three touchdowns were caught by Chris Godwin (8 catches, 114 yards), Cade Otton (3 catches, 13 yards), and Trey Palmer (2 catches, 6 yards). Rachaad White led the Tampa Bay rushing game with 56 yards on 15 carries.
New Orleans will be back in action on Sunday, Oct. 8 against the New England Patriots (1-3) in Foxborough, Mass. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CT.