Tampa, FL--On a record-setting offensive day, the Bucs fell just short of the New Orleans Saints, losing 35-28.
Quarterback Josh Freeman completed 24 of 42 passes, for career-high 420 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Vincent Jackson had 7 catches, for a Bucs-record 216 yards, and a touchdown. As a team, the Bucs had 513 yards of total offense.
The Bucs thought they scored a game-tying touchdown, on a Freeman-Mike Williams hookup. But the play was nullified, when it was ruled that Williams stepped out of the end zone, then reentered play to make the catch... a violation.
Drew Brees was 27 of 37 passing, for 377 yards, and 4 touchdowns in the first half.
The Bucs call to 2-4, the Saints raise their record to 2-4.
For complete game stats, click here
Orange you glad Ronde Barbrer is still playing, the longest tenured Buccaneer got the large crowd at Raymond James Stadium going by intercepting a Drew Brees pass on their opening possession of the game.
Barber's forty-sixth career interception gave the Bucs the ball on the New Orleans 13 yard line on the retro painted field. Josh Freeman and the offense, who stepped on to the field wearing the Buccaneers throwback uniforms took over from there, as Freeman hit Tiquan Underwood over the middle for a touchdown on their first play. Underwood's score was his first of the season in a Bucs uniform.
The Bucs defense would get their offense back the ball quickly forcing the Saints into a three and out. The next offensive possession for Freeman came with some questionable decisions from the 4th year quarterback. Freeman was nearly picked off twice, including one that looked like it was intercepted by Roman Harper but ruled incomplete even after a Saints challenge.
The Bucs capitalized on their possession with rookie running back Doug Martin taking his longest touchdown run of the season 36 yards for a score making it 14-0 Buccaneers.
But Drew Brees and New Orleans would answer with a 9 play drive capped off with a Brees to Marques Colston touchdown connection cutting the Bucs lead in half 14-7 at the end of the quarter.
Brees put his future hall of fame talent on display in the second quarter orchestrating scoring drives on all three Saints posessions in the frame. Brees found Joseph Morgan on an incredible 48 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 21.
Then on the next posession, Brees drove the Saints down the field in a 1:38 finshing off the drive with a touchdown to David Thomas giving New Orleans a 28-21 lead.
The Bucs offense stalled in the second quarter picking up only one first down and failed to put points on the scoreboard.
The Saints have comeback to take the lead 28-21 at the half.
Vincent Jackson made the play of the third quarter, catching a pass from Freeman and taking it 95 yards for the longest reception in Buccaneers' history. But the historical effort resulted in no points as the Saints defense stopped the Bucs four consecutive times from the one yard line. As the Bucs best scoring opportunity in the quarter was thwarted. The Saints take a 28-21 lead into the fourth and final quarter.