TAMPA, Florida - The New Orleans Saints beat the Bucs, 16-14, on a last-second field goal.
Garrett Hartley was true from 27 yards out, as time expired, to hand the Bucs a heartbreaking loss, their second close loss in a row.
With 12:40 to play in the game, LB Mason Foster came up with the play of the game. He intercepted Drew Brees, and on a twisting, turning return of 85 yards, he scored to put the Bucs in front, 14-13.
The Bucs' last drive of the game, fell just short, and with 1:06 left, Ryan Lindell tried a 47-yard field goal that hooked wide left.
Drew Brees completed 3 straight passes, to put the Saints on the Bucs' 11-yard-line, with 17 seconds left. And as time expired, Hartley kicked the game-winning field goal.
There was only one score in the 3rd quarter, a 41-yard field goal from the Saints' Garrett Hartley.
The Bucs had a long touchdown called back, for a illegal formation penalty. Josh Freeman fumbled, and threw an interception. Through 3 quarters, Freeman is 7 of 17 passing for 87 yards. Doug Martin has 108 yards rushing, his first 100-yard game of the season.
After an hour and nine minute weather delay due to lightning and rain, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense finally got the chance to take the field in front of its home crowd for the first time this season. The Bucs trail the New Orleans Saints, 10-7, after one half at a soggy Raymond James Stadium.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has led the charge for New Orleans with a career-high 156 yards receiving and one score in the first half. His 56-yard touchdown reception gave the Saints a 10-7 lead with 2:36 to play in the first quarter. Tampa Bay held the Saints out of the endzone on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line just before halftime.
A week after committing a league-high 13 penalties against the Jets, the Bucs continue to hurt themselves with miscues. Tampa Bay drew six more flags in the first half today, including three for helmet-to-helmet personal fouls. Each hit cost them 15-yards of field position. The Bucs had six penalties and six first downs.
On their second drive of the game, the Bucs marched 35 yards in seven plays and took a 7-3 lead thanks to a Josh Freeman touchdown pass to Kevin Ogletree. The scoring drive was set up by a Dekota Watson interception.
Brees passed for 216 yards in the first half. Freeman ended the half with just 31 yards passing. The Bucs only ran 24 plays in the first two quarters.
The Saints led the Bucs 3-0 after kicking a field goal on their first possession of the game. The referees sent both teams to the locker rooms after lightning struck above the sky shortly after the field goal. The NFL offices in New York determine when to suspend play due to weather.
A message on the video screens in the endzones at Raymond James Stadium urged fans to leave their seats and take cover from the weather. Once players return to the field, they will be given a short time to warm up before the game will resume.
Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy sacked Brees on the Saints' first possession. It was the first sack of the year for McCoy, who works out with Brees in the offseason.
Tampa Bay is looking for its first win of the season. New Orleans beat Atlanta last week, 23-17.