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Fast Start Fades Fast as Saints Pound Bucs 38-7

The first possession for the Bucs was good Sunday, going 95 yards for a quick 7-0 lead over the Saints. But just like that, the best team in the NFC South turned on their magic, putting the Bucs away with some quick scores to move to 10-0 with a 38-7 rout of the Bucs.

“We knew how potent their offense was, and we knew that really the best defense was our offense being able to sustain drives,” QB Josh Freeman said. “The tough thing is that only lasted our first drive.”

Freeman had his issues, he was 17 of 33 for 126 yards and three interceptions. The first-round draft pick was sacked three times and also lost a fumble that led to Brees’ 11-yard TD throw to David Thomas in the third quarter. He and the offense started the game red-hot, going for 7 with an 18-yard TD to Michael Clayton with 4:58 left in the first quarter.

Brees though went to work, he threw a four-yard TD to Robert Meachem to tie the game at 7 with 1:04 left in the first quarter. Then after a John Carney field goal gave New Orleans a 10-7 lead, Brees hit Meachem again for a 6-yard score to make it 17-7 with 28 seconds left in the first half.

The Saints really turned it on in the second half, scoring twice in the third quarter and then again in the fourth. Mike Bell ran in two of those scores, and Brees thew an 11-yard TD to David Thomas with 10:36 to play in the third quarter. The Saints D held the Bucs to 219 yards, and they had just 13 first downs.

The Bucs were limited to 124 yards after their opening march. Freeman said he was a “hair” off with many of his throws, but did not feel he took a step back running the offense in his third pro start. “It’s just one of those days,” the rookie said. “An off day. … I don’t see it as a problem going forward.”

The Buccaneers, now 1-9 on the season, will be at Atlanta Sunday at 1pm.

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