Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Saints find margin for error in 30-10 rout


Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints, right, breaks up a pass to Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their NFL game in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Drew Brees started listing the mistakes the Saints made against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There were two lost fumbles, one on Alvin Kamara’s run and another on Willie Snead’s muffed punt.

Wil Lutz missed a 43-yard field goal and had an extra point blocked. Brees missed a deep throw to Ted Ginn when the speedy receiver was behind the Bucs’ defense.

The Saints’ kickoff return unit also botched a trick play.

In the NFL, teams generally need to be playing well to overcome all that. New Orleans on Sunday overcame it to the tune of a 30-10 rout.

“By no means was it perfect out there,” Brees said. “I felt like we had some opportunities to score [more points].”

The Saints (6-2) are now riding a six-game winning streak, longer than any streak they had during their last playoff season in 2013 and their longest since 2011.

Four of the victories have been by two touchdowns or more. None was closer than eight points.

Against Tampa Bay, the Saints made their share of big plays.

There was Kamara’s serpentine, 33-yard touchdown on a screen pass and Ginn’s 36-yard score on a pass over the middle. Undrafted rookie Justin Hardee scored New Orleans’ first touchdown when he blocked a punt and recovered it on the run.

The Bucs (2-6) lost their fifth straight, and their frustration boiled over during a scuffle that involved quarterback Jameis Winston and receiver Mike Evans.

Winston, who lasted only a half while playing with a shoulder injury, instigated the third-quarter dustup when left the sideline and pushed his finger into the back of rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore’s helmet.

Lattimore shoved back and then Evans decked Lattimore from behind.

Evans berated himself for being childish and malicious.

Winston said that he is not dealing well with the disappointment of a season that began with a lot of promise after the Bucs narrowly missed the playoffs last season.

“I hate losing. I hate losing. I hate losing,” Winston said. “It’s something that we are going to have to handle internally, but we are going to handle it.”

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