Solid start: Saints defense, special teams shine in win over Bucs


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – SEPTEMBER 13: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Alvin Kamara scored a pair of touchdowns, and Janoris Jenkins intercepted a Tom Brady pass and returned it 36 yards for a score as the Saints defeated Tampa Bay 34-23 in the 2020 season opener Sunday.

The game, at the Superdome, was played without fans.

Saints head coach Sean Payton praised the defense and special teams. New Orleans’ Margus Hunt blocked a field goal and Bennie Fowler recovered a pooch kickoff.

“Defensively we were outstanding,” said Payton.

The Saints also intercepted Brady twice.

Both offenses struggled. The Bucs had 310 total yards. The Saints had 271.

Drew Brees completed 18 of 30 passes for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Brees threw 12 yards to Kamara in the first quarter, and 5 yards to Emmanuel Sanders in the fourth quarter to give the Saints a 31-17 lead.

Saints head coach Sean Payton said the biggest problem with the offense was he, the play caller. Payton said he has to do a better job.

Saints tight end Jared Cook had 5 receptions for 80 yards. Cook said playing in an empty Superdome was quite different.

Tom Brady, making his Bucs debut, completed 23 of 36 passes for 239 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Saints play at the Las Vegas Raiders next Monday night. You can watch the game live on ABC and WGNO TV.


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