Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Saints

September 13th, 2020


In a drab debut, the new-look Bucs looked too much like the old Bucs.

Turnovers and penalties. Penalties and turnovers. Despite substituting Tom Brady for Jameis Winston under center, Tampa Bay maintained its ghastly knack for beating itself.

Brady was part of the problem as the Saints won the turnover battle 3-0. This is a trend that must be reversed if the Bucs plan to knock off New Orleans in the rematch in Tampa.

In the past three matchups, the Bucs have seven giveaways. The Saints have one. Bruce Arians couldn’t believe his weary eyes as the visitors self-destructed.


Here’s how the Bucs made it all too easy in The Big Easy:

* First things first, Brady needs to be better. His resume suggests he’ll bounce back strong in the home opener. But for most of this matchup, he looked too much like Winston. The pick-6 was a killer and the five possessions after an impressive opening drive ended with two interceptions, two punts and a blocked FG attempt. Any long pass toward a sideline has to be thrown on a string. Brady’s ball floated
on a cloud.

* For two weeks, I hammered Arians about the danger of facing the NFL’s premier special teams units without much time to prepare. The disparity was evident throughout the game as Deonte Harris averaged 15 yards per punt return and the Bucs muffed a kickoff. Add in a blocked FG try and it’s safe to say special teams will receive special emphasis this week.

* Mike Edwards couldn’t beat out rookie Antoine Winfield for a starting safety spot and he didn’t help his status on the depth chart with an inexplicable backwards drift toward the ball on Thomas Morstead’s kickoff. Let’s remember it was a careless facemask penalty against Carlton Davis on the Emmanuel Sanders TD catch that gave Morstead an opportunity to kick off from midfield. His towering kick confused the Bucs and enforced Morstead’s reputation as a formidable weapon for Sean Payton.

* Memo to Donovan Smith: watch the tape, learn from it, then burn it. Buc fans were concerned about Tristan Wirfs making his NFL debut at right tackle against Cameron Jordan. Instead, it was Tampa Bay’s left tackle who looked like an overmatched rookie.

* Wirfs looked like he belonged, but the offensive line as a group lost too many trench skirmishes. And while Brady faced constant pressure, the pass rush against Brees was erratic. Credit the Saints for making Shaq Barrett disappear.

* There were some standouts for the visitors. Scotty Miller showed up ready to play, along with Devin White and Lavonte David. Winfield is a keeper while Davis had his share of good moments covering Michael Thomas, who managed just three catches for 17 yards.

* Tampa Bay’s ground game remains erratic. There were some nice holes for Ronald Jones, but the Bucs averaged only 3.3 yards per carry. On a day Brady wasn’t particularly sharp, that’s not good enough.
* After seeing the Bucs lead the league with 133 penalties, Arians has been preaching discipline for the past six weeks. He needs a new sermon because 9 flags for 103 yards isn’t acceptable. Vita Vea will be reminded by Todd Bowles, perhaps rather forcefully, that you can’t hand New Orleans a fourth-down gift by misreading the snap count when you’re lined up over the center.

* For the most part, the defense played well. New Orleans was limited to four total yards during three third-quarter possessions and only two Saint snaps went for more than 20 yards — a 46-yard pass to
Jared Cook when Jamel Dean was caught snoozing and Taysom Hill’s 38-yard completion to Alvin Kamara off a lateral. Bowles’ unit is going to be just fine.

* One game does not a season make, even if it’s against your key division rival. The 2002 champion Bucs lost Week 1 at home to the Saints. The 2018 Bucs won their season opener in the Superdome and finished 5-11. Remember what Arians said after last season ended: “When we stop beating ourselves, we’ll be tough to beat.”

New year, same mantra.

Ira Kaufman’s column is presented by Bill Currie Ford, where the stunning offers are waiting for you. Click on Ira to visit, where GM Sean Sullivan will help you personally.

46 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Saints”

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    A Winston lead offense moves the ball way better than what Brady did today.

  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    As always………

    IRA always does a good job

  3. Hahahahaha Says:

    But honestly. What does the worst fanbase in all of football deserve? I love the bucs and really wish the pulled out a win today. But you all deserve this. I hope you vilify the goat for pick sixes the way you did the guy who just turned 25. Vomit tastes better than y’alls opinions.

  4. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Questionable play calling, bad Oline and horrendous special teams. And of course more turnovers. Better fix in a hurry.

  5. Jaycorr Says:

    Good article Ira. Pretty much dead on. There is just always a feeling with this team that one way or the other they are going to screw it up. Too many mistakes!! Is it week one with no preseason games or same old bucs? Only time will tell

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Turnovers,penalties & special teams…..

    I liked what I saw from Scotty Miller today…….LVD & Devin White played well….our run defense was still strong…..secondary looked decent…..

    A couple of minor positives with Brady….he was hit several times and didn’t fumble….& he can sneak….

  7. miller5252 Says:

    Another spot on article Ira. I don’t think it’s the loss that makes this seem so bad, but more to the fact of 2020 being such a crap year and the excitement as a Bucs fan was so high it allowed you the thought that the Bucs may lay it to a team that treats the Bucs like their little brother. I saw this from another person posting earlier and its exactly the truth for this game, and a lot of previous years, but being a Bucs fan you feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football……

  8. Tbbucs3 Says:

    These team is a snowball, starting slow and (hopefully) rolling as something mighty by the end of the year.

    I wish the Bucs had an easier warm up game to start the year but I am not ready to hit the panic button yet.

    Now a loss against the Panthers next week would officially set in panic mode.

    The Bucs can not afford 2 divisional losses to start the season.

  9. EA Says:

    All those so called weapons and Scotty Miller was the feature guy?? I’m not buying that Howard has redeemed himself…he is afraid to get hit…how about some screen passes when nothing else is working.
    I’m not sure what to make of this, there were other teams with new players and staff but didn’t look as bad as the bucs, Brady looked like an immobile Jameis winston, at least winston could scramble and make a few plays.
    We’ll see what next week brings but I wasn’t impressed.

  10. PSL Bob Says:

    The sheen wore off quickly on our new shiny Tomba toy! Devon White is a stud. I thought the LBs were the bright spot today.

  11. Miketb19 Says:

    The defense really came to play today I mean look at these stats below
    Mike Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders
    6 catches for 32 yards combined
    Alvin Kamara
    1.2 yards per carry with a long of 6 yards
    Drew Brees
    18 out of 30 for 160 yards

    The Saints did not beat us we beat ourselves with bad penalties and mental mistakes the biggest being Mike Edwards on what might of been the most ridiculous play I’ve ever seen

    And shout out especially to devin white and lavonte David they played out of there minds today with there tackling and coverage I mean what they did to Kamara was nothing short of spectacular

  12. james west Says:

    yeah it sux, but if the bucs loose next week to the panthers, i will say give it up, bill belicheck was spot on, and the bucs got yanked

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    Wait, so Brady looked like Winston… so humm, this is Winston’s old team, his old offense, but with better talent this year…

    Also, Winston would have got us to 30 points today – at least.

    Brady will look better next week – or the season is in fact over since next week the Bucs are the better team. This week, the Saints, the 2nd best team in the NFL, was the better team.

  14. DoooshLaRue Says:

    You nailed it Ira.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Succop didn’t do that badly…..made all his extra points & a FG…..I’m not blaming him for the block when our Oline let some guy 7’6″ through to stand up in front of the kick…..

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    It was what it was. Some reminiscent of last year (penalties, Special Teams that is far from special). Defense looked better than expected (to me, anyway), Ron Jones looked pretty good, and Wirfs seemed solid.

  17. Todd Says:

    I blame it on the crowd noise. Those Covid fans were brutal.

  18. Bucsfan951 Says:

    No doubt about it. Offense and sloppy play lost today’s game

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    Tampabaybucfan – whoever snapped the ball on that FG got ran over. It looked like Jensen but I don’t know if he snaps on FGs or not – but it was a terrible blocking effort whoever it was.

  20. Swampbuc Says:

    Brady’s best upside is Brad Johnson 2004.

    He’s exposed and by week five will be on IR, if not before. Rosen May be under center by game 12.

  21. Robert James Says:

    We lost to the saints in the opener in 2002 also so I’m not worried especially with this crazy offseason . Im pleased w how good the rookies did. I know miller had a great game, but wished he gets that 1st down early.

  22. Robert James Says:

    @munch… Truth!! Jameis gets us 30 for sure! Unfortunately, he gets the saints 50.

  23. NPRSageBoy Says:

    TB12 looked an awful lot like JayMiss: Two INT, one a Pick 6 and more misses than completions. Plus, Donovan Smith is gonna get TB12 killed.

    The Tampa Bay community has waited a long time for the TB12 debut and many are disappointed.

    What’s up with Gronk? He looked like he was still retired.

    Peace, out

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m giving the team a mulligan on this game because it’s one I had in my loss column.
    Bright spots from younger players…..SMB, Davis, White, Winfield, Miller & Wirfs…
    Kicker looked reliable. Run defense still very strong. Uniforms look good….

  25. Says:

    Wirfs is a stuf
    Winfield is a stuf
    Special teams needs coaching
    Brady had nerves
    45 and 54 are studs
    Uncharacteristic penalties by proven guys like vea and suh will disappear
    The saints will be in playoffs
    Bucs win by 2 scores vs carolina

  26. james west Says:

    you know Ira, i have been thinking about this loss, especially after watching arians press conference, and i have come to this conclusion, arians sucks, his team is always committing way to many penalties, have way to many turnovers, their special teams are far from special, and he has not had a winning season, or a 8-8 since he’s been here, they went all in with brady and the gronk, and their debut besides the touchdown drive to begin the game, was lackluster and dull, man they have what 100 coaches, special agents (tom moore) yada yada yada and the damn supposedly goat, and this is what we get, if they get beat down by the stinking panthers, the bucs got suckered by bill, who probably is the goat, we will see

  27. JayWill Says:

    Game shouldn’t of been close. Drew Brees didnt throw deep to wide open players choosing to it check down. If this was younger Drew Brees it would of been a blow out. Noodle arm Drew kept Bucs in the game.

  28. JimmyJack Says:

    At the end of the day it’s too many mistakes. Wirfs with a pentaly to end a drive. Vea with a penalty to extend another. Miller runs into his own player. missed block by on a FG. Muffed punt. Donovan brain farts for 6 consecutive plays to ruin multiple drives. Dean brain farts and gives up a critical pass….next play still hashish head up his ass for a TD. Brady making boneheaded throws. Devin White running the wrong way like a rookie. RoJo/McCoy missing blitz pickups.

    How many mistakes did the other team make? That’s the differ eff ncd and its substantial. And its not entertaining as as fan.

  29. Craig Says:

    Tommy Terrific was not quite enough to beat the Gruden Curse.

    The offense drew first blood and then tried to control the clock. It worked until Jamel Dean got lazy. Then the special teams weren’t very special.

    The Bucs gave the game away, even though the defense was strong, except for Dean getting lazy.

    O-lime needs to come together, it hasn’t gelled yet and needs to.

  30. D1 Says:


    Winston would have gotten us 30pts today.

    Possibly! But out of the 9 times Winston faced the Saints, he scored 31 pts one time (The last game of the season) .

    Most of the remaining games, 17 or so avg.

    The QB’S, Coaches and schemes have changed along with a Buccaneer receiver or 2. The problem is that the saints DB’S are really good in Man coverage and our recievers , well…..not so much!

  31. lambchop Says:


    Bruce Arians has had a notoriously questionable Special Teams unit dating, at least, back to his days in Arizona. It got bad in Arizona to the point that the pen and mic club were asking why BA didn’t make any ST coaching changes.

    I just don’t think ST coaching is a priority with this immense staff.

  32. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Its going to take us time to gel. Anyone expecting anything different is extremely misguided. If we can go 2-2 thru our first 4 games then I expect us to be just fine. The key will be not falling too far behind early this year.

  33. Mike Johnson Says:

    Brady looked slower than molasses when that pocket broke down. 25 mil a yr is nice cash for a 42 yr old washed up vet. Yes, Brady is the GOAT. But he won’t be one for us. I tried to tell you guys back in March. Now you see for yourselves.

  34. Buc4ever Says:

    Poor special teams play
    Poor o-line play
    Poor dB play
    No running game
    Poor offensive game plan

    Even the GOAT can’t win.

  35. Haha They'rethesame Says:

    Hahahaha, you changed the QB and low and behold the same bonehead mistakes are happening in all phases of the team. Too many sacks, picks, fumbles, penalties, and undisciplined play but yet again everyone wants to blame QB play. You’ll never learn. This team is cursed with the inability to just do the fundamentals. It was never Winston’s fault, he was always trying too hard to make up for this kind of play. Good luck getting 5k and 30+ TDs outta Brady. You’ll be lucky if he lasts 5 games if he continues to get sacked 3 times a game. Even now that Winston’s gone know nothing’s are making jokes at his expense. Now you’ll throw a HOFamer under the bus. I’m so glad I’m free of this awful organization. Good luck on the season, lol.

  36. Haha They'rethesame Says:

    Hahahaha, you changed the QB and low and behold the same bonehead mistakes are happening in all phases of the team. Too many sacks, picks, fumbles, penalties, and undisciplined play but yet again everyone wants to blame QB play. You’ll never learn. This team is cursed with the inability to just do the fundamentals. It was never Winston’s fault, he was always trying too hard to make up for this kind of play. Good luck getting 5k and 30+ TDs outta Brady. You’ll be lucky if he lasts 5 games if he continues to get sacked 3 times a game. Even now that Winston’s gone know nothing’s are making jokes at his expense. Now you’ll throw a HOFamer under the bus. Good luck on the season, lol.

  37. dmatt Says:

    EA,I agree OJ Howard is scared to get hit. He is a bust. Don’t play nothing remotely close to a first round pick. Look at ur play hard make plays players such as Greg Olsen,Tyler Eiffert, Zach Ertz, George Little, n Travis Kelce. Please watch the tapes, OJ gives up on plays, reluctant to block,n make no effort to make a tackle on a turnover. He sucks! Good riddance to O.J. Howard, DSmith, n Mike Edwards. Passive, timid, soft, n slackers

  38. Kimbo Slice Says:

    Looks like the Bucs got the wrong QB in FA. Bridgewater looked great today in Carolina in the same situation.

    I don’t know why a lot of you are already penciling in a win because they gave the Raiders all they could handle today and probably would have won had their coach not had a brain fart on fourth and one on a potential game winning drive.

    Bridgewater had no turnovers, and they moved the ball with ease up and down the field.

    If the Bucs lose next weekend, it’s gonna be rough. Never take Belichick’s castoffs, even the Hall of Famers. He’ll always fleece you.

  39. ©MadMax Says:

    Not good….and Im holding back….WTF was that? WTF you doing D?

    Is what it is, now we know.

    We gonna be laughed at as usual.


  40. teacherman777 Says:

    The blocked field is on Cappa!

    Watch the tape!

  41. adam from ny Says:

    spot on ira…

    what if:

    what if these first 2 games are sorta like 2 preseason games to get everyone up to speed…

    yet they count on the schedule…

    what if

  42. Bucsfanman Says:

    We can slice and dice this game all we want. There was only one championship-caliber team on the field yesterday.
    It’s as though Buc fans have forgotten that the Saints have been an NFC stalwart for some time.
    The phrase I kept mumbling to myself all game was, “stop beating yourself”!
    Take away the lack of chemistry which was evident, the dumb penalties just absolutely killed us.
    On a side note, you have to tip your hat to Sean Payton’s coaching. I hate that guy!

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    Great writeup Ira. I saw 3 things that tipped the scale to the Saints:

    1 – Bucs got out-coached on offense & S/Ts, big-time.
    2 – Penalties & turnovers on offense & S/Ts killed us … once again.
    3 – Bucs lost the game in the trenches. Our OLine didn’t pass-protect or run-block well as a unit, and our DLine wasn’t pressuring Brees.

  44. Hopalong Bucco Says:

    One game, new/moved young players, Smith is hard to watch, limited time to work out kinks on new offense, Evans SOS! End result is the same old cockroaches crawl out from under their couches and laptops with bleats of “the sky is falling.” This will be a damn good footballl team soon. Buc up y’all!!

  45. gotbbucs Says:

    Largest coaching staff in the league, most poorly coached team in the league.
    The daycare for “young up and coming” needs to end. I don’t care about the future of Byron Leftwich’s career. Nobody will convince me that Leftwich can call a better game from the sideline than Brady can from the field. That looked like a offense designed by a middle school coach. If all you’re going to do is line up in 12 personnel and try to jam the ball down their throat in the running game and run three routes in the passing game then we could just as well quit.
    Everything the Saints do on offense moves defenders around and screws with alignments, the Bucs offense was insanely stale.

    I’m sure the execution will get better, but the lack of imagination on offense is glaring, especially considering the personnel thats available.

  46. ModHairKen Says:

    Why has no one mentioned the absolute abortion Cappa put up yesterday? May have been one of the worst performances by a Bus lineman ever.