"It's hard to win, turning the ball over like that. I obviously have to do a lot better job", Tom Brady said, per Justin Leger of NBC Sports. His first - a 2-yard QB keeper up the middle - was set up by a attractive play-action 29-yard pass to Chris Godwin to make it 7-0. I know that certainly we are used to playing at a much higher level, offensively, and I think especially the passing game.
The Buccaneers, who began their first drive of the game at their own 15-yard yard line, put together a nine-play, 85-yard drive in about 5 minutes, and it was capped when Brady plunged into the end zone from 2 yards out on his methodical, nearly always successful quarterback keeper. He padded his numbers in garbage time, finishing with 239 yards and two TDs, the second scoring strike going to Mike Evans with 2:41 left. But he did throw two interceptions, including a pick-six, and was uncharacteristically sloppy.
Saints safety Marcus Williams came down with the ball near midfield and returned it inside the Tampa Bay 40. Arians, in his postgame press conference, put the blame on Brady for both of his interceptions thrown against the Saints, but on Monday he retracted blame on Brady for the first interception and placed it on wide receiver Mike Evans instead. Howard in the corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 24-14, before a 38-yard field goal by Ryan Succop brought the Bucs within one score. The legendary coach often would just say some version of "everyone needs to be better".
"There's no excuses - we're the only ones that can do something about it", Brady said.
Brady tried to temper expectations this week, acknowledging that he still had work to do in learning Bruce Arians' offense, and the offense still had a ways to go when it came to communication and getting on the same page.
Buccaneers: Evans played after missing practice the past week with a hamstring injury. We gotta look at each other in the eye.
It was a fleeting, triumphant moment for the Bucs in a game defined more, in the end, by their new star's mistakes.