Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Saints

December 6th, 2022

Click on through to shop at Bill Currie Ford GM Sean Sullivan is ready to help you PERSONALLY and give you the Ira Kaufman discount. Just ask!


A .500 record never felt so good.

Thanks to some resourceful plays down the stretch and one of the worst play calls you’ll ever see, the Bucs swept the Saints by overcoming a 16-3 deficit on Tom Brady’s final two drives.

A loss appeared inevitable for 56 minutes as New Orleans smothered Tampa Bay’s offense. But with Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and Aaron Judge looking on, Brady threw a pair of TD passes as the Bucs improved to 6-6 heading into challenging matchups against the 49ers and Bengals.

At 5-8, the Saints would have been in the mix for the NFC South crown had they held on. Andy Dalton did just enough and the New Orleans defense did the rest until fading late as Tampa Bay completed the season sweep for the first time since 2007.

That was seven Buc coaches ago.

When handing out game balls, Todd Bowles shouldn’t forget about Carl Nassib, the reserve edge rusher who registered a deflected pass and a sack to help get Brady back on the field. And while the Bucs displayed tremendous grit against their chief rivals, the Saints helped with some bonehead plays and calls that will be debated up and down Bourbon Street for days.

Here’s how the Bucs transformed a drab game into a remarkable 17-16 triumph, essentially ending any postseason hopes for the Saints along the way.

* Brady never stops coming at you and that relentless drive was evident once again Monday evening. He kept making good decisions in those final two possessions against a defense that has bedeviled him since his arrival at One Buc Place. “We’re not where we want to be,” Brady said, “but we’ll keep fighting.” What a competitor.


* Lavonte David had it going from the start, flying around the field and playing with passion. The longest-tenured Buccaneer finished with 12 tackles and a sack, earning the gratitude of teammates for a job well done.

* The Bucs pulled off a miracle, but you won’t win many games when you lose the turnover battle 0-2 and special teams struggle — again. Rookie Jake Camarda placed two punts into the end zone for touchbacks and Keith Armstrong’s coverage team allowed a 42-yard punt return.

* Nobody was more ecstatic about Brady’s winning TD pass than Donovan Smith. Chris Godwin had grabbed the apparent winner three plays earlier — only to see Smith flagged for his second holding penalty of the fourth quarter. Smith certainly hasn’t distinguished himself in recent weeks, an ominous sign with Tristan Wirfs sidelined.

* The overall protection was decent, with Brady dropped only once in 54 pass attempts. He is still struggling to hit his targets downfield on the few times Brady isn’t throwing 6-yard passes.

* After Nick Chubb gashed the Bucs last week in Cleveland, Tampa Bay’s rushing defense was stellar. The Saints ran 25 times for 66 yards, with a long gain of 7 yards. The Buc defense was also very solid on third down (5-for-14) and in the red zone, where the Saints were 0-3. By the way, has anyone seen Alvin Kamara?

* For much of the evening, these division rivals offered little entertainment value. At halftime, a fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame voter sent me the following text: “Bucs are a mess. Can’t watch. Boring.” All fair points at the time.

* Buc fans are living a charmed life in some respects. First, look at this wretched division. And did you forget the Saints were flagged for too many men in the huddle down near the Buc goal line? That was a potential 4-point penalty as New Orleans settled for a field goal.

* Bowles has been criticized for being too conservative, but he made the right call to punt midway through the fourth quarter with the Bucs trailing 16-3, facing fourth-and-10 from their own 25. Compare that to the botch job pulled off by the Saints on their ensuing possession. On third-and-1 from the Tampa Bay 44, with a chance to burn more clock and run for a first down that might have effectively decided the game, New Orleans got cute. These Saints don’t do cute very well. Dalton threw incomplete and then, instead of trying to make one yard and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands, Dennis Allen ordered up a punt. Yes, Bowles outcoached Allen big-time with the game on the line.

* The Bucs have scored 21 points or fewer in all six of their victories. What does that suggest? While far from perfect, this defense remains the team anchor. The 49ers are also known to play a little defense, so Sunday’s matchup just might be intriguing. Bet the under.

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!

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

  1. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Irv seems awfully disappointed in the Bucs win. Coupled with a KC loss…Cosmo better watch his step at The CoughMan Compound.

  2. Mr. Editor Says:

    TB12’s daughter when informed that her Dad’s team was playing the Saints on her birthday: “Oh no, Daddy!” Happy Birthday!

  3. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Irv is not alone here, however. FanBoy Florio is furious that the Bucs rallied…wants Donovan Smith flagged for multiple more holding penalties retroactively.

  4. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Point 11. JTS was completely invisible the whole game. The only pass rush the Bucs could get was on blitzes or when Nassib was in the game. That man deserves much more playing time and JTS deserves much less.

  5. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Joe Tryon has been such a disappointment. I thought this kid would be a player. Thus far i am wrong about him.

  6. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Point 12-Logan Hall has failed to hit the stat sheet 3 out of the last 4 and blanked again last night , so Tryon Istinka does not deserve all the bad mouthing , but what does this asy about our drafting of edge rushers with JTS and Hall both invisible with little to no impact on the game?????

  7. Jmarkbuc Says:


    It says Licht ain’t all that.. never has been.

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    “Bet the under”. Good call.

  9. AmauryGuzman Says:

    It just sucks that we have this coaching staff. Sunday could be very ugly againsh the 49ers if they don’t come out strong and play well.

  10. Couch Fan Says:

    Am I the only one who feels like making the playoffs would be a big disappointment? We have no business in the playoffs. we would lose the 1st game and because we made the playoffs our not so football savy owners would use that as an excuse to hold on to this terrible coaching staff and waste another year.

  11. Bucamania Says:

    Great comeback win. TB had to win it twice thanks to Donovan Smith. They said on the broadcast that Smith is the most penalized player in the NFL this year.

  12. zzbuc Says:

    Sage, you ommit the catches made by Cade Otton Scottie Miller and Julio Jones, those three with Nassibs plays, were the main factors of this Victory IMO

  13. ocala Says:

    Bucs coaching staff is awful. I hated seeing them celebrate the win considering how much they contribute to the awful product the Bucs are reflecting.
    This is one of the top 5 rosters in the NFL with the best player of all-time leading it, yet the Bucs are a .500 team.
    The only chance this team has is to go 1990’s Buffalo Bills and run no huddle the whole game the rest of the season.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No mention of the Keano Neal hit…..but, I guess he’s been covered so much already……..that hit saved the game.

    As far as Bowles’ decision… forget that earlier in the game he chose to punt from the Saint’s 40 on 4th down……that was not good decision.

    Bowles didn’t outcoach anyone…..he got lucky.

  15. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Winny. Irv is less than excited. Article is disjointed and hard to read. All over the place. Missed key contributors. More concerned with why the Saints lost than why the Bucs won. Miller JJ Otten Nassib ?

  16. Daniel Says:

    I generally agree with Ira, but what game did you watch last night?

    – TB12 was constantly under siege. The only reason we gave up 1 sack is he checked the ball down all night
    – Bowles coaching was totally shameful. Punting from the Saints 40 was cowardly.

  17. alton d green Says:

    I just read that Todd out coached somebody. mark it on your calendar folks

  18. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    * The overall protection was decent, with Brady dropped only once in 54 pass attempts. He is still struggling to hit his targets downfield on the few times Brady isn’t throwing 6-yard passes.

    OLine is garbage and why we are 6-6! He’s struggling to hit targets because he has to get rid of the ball in 2 seconds or less!

  19. HC Grover Says:

    Allen outblundered Bowlezo.

  20. Darin Says:

    Not sure if that counts as bowles out coaching him. One guy being Stoopid doesn’t make the other one better. Bowles has his chance to catch back up next week. Brady did a hell of a job coaching the last few minutes tho!

  21. nick houllis Says:

    The OPTIMIST here… chiming in. Everyone so down on the Bucs coaches, but how do you take deep shots downfield when you dont give Brady enough time.

    STOP! it only LOOKS like Brady has time. he’s the fastest release in the NFL right now, because last night we beat our rival who has been unbeatable even by our Super Bowl teams (2002 and 2020 saints swept the Bucs, but we went on to win Super Bowl both years). and we did it with 4 of 5 O linemen gone from last year. Donovan Smith, which youll remember from such hits as “holding Donovan Smith” , is the only HOLDover (you like that?) from last year. LG retired C injured RG free agent replacement RT injured. IF, big IF, the Bucs get Jensen and Wirfs back in time for playoffs, do you really want to play against Brady in Tampa if your the skins or Giants or other wild card team? Be OPTIMISTIC Bucs fans.

  22. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    nick houllis Says:
    STOP! it only LOOKS like Brady has time.

    Can’t stress this enough. OLine is a shell of its former self. It’s not as blatant as it could be because TB gets rid of the ball so quickly.

  23. D-Rok Says:

    At least we didn’t have a penalty for 12 men in the huddle. It almost happened twice to the Saints, but Dalton caught it just in time.

    I agree that the game was barely watchable, until about 8 minutes left in 4th. THEN it got very exciting.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    I had no problem not going for in on that 4th and 10 from deep in our zone.

    But I absolutely DID have a problem with not going for in on the 4th and 6ish from the Saints 37 yard line on the previous drive. But instead, Todd the Coward punted, resulting in a net gain of a whopping 17 yards. The same exact chicken-chit move he did last week against Cleveland.

    Playing not to lose rarely results in a win. Our 6-6 record is proof of that.

  25. unbelievable Says:

    Sorry I think it was actually from the Saints 40 yard line. So 20 net yards for the punt..

  26. Buddha Says:

    Who said this is one of the five top rosters in the league? No way. Before the season started they lost three Pro Bowlers off last year’s roster, Marpet, Jensen, and Gronkowski, a Hall of Famer. You don’t replace that kind of class. Then they lost Barrett, another Hall of Famer. Then their best remaining defensive player, Winfield, was injured and has thus far missed three games, and another Pro Bowler, Godwin has not yet returned to form. Buffalo, KC, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and San Francisco all have better rosters.

    Expectations for this team were way too high. I can’t and won’t defend the unimaginative offensive coordinators, but so-called fans have been way too hard on Bowles. That doesn’t mean he is not subject to criticism–he has made a few blunders, but he wasn’t the reason we lost to Cleveland. They made the plays against our defense late in the game and in overtime.

    Bowles didn’t get to choose his coaching staff. If he doesn’t fire the offensive coordinator and the special teams coach in the of season, I will be bitterly disappointed, but he has done a terrific job with the defense, which leads the league, I believe, in points against. Sean Payton fired a slew of defensive coaches before he got his guy. Bowles deserves an opportunity to choose his own coaches. He has never claimed to be an offensive genius. It was a mistake to hire him without changing the coaching staff. Is he accountable, sure. But the so-called fans are being way too hard on him. If the fans think he is going to be fired at the end of the season, forget it. Fire Bowles and you will be hard -pressed to bring in another coach, given the precedent it would set, one that the Glazers never have followed. Without Bowles we likely would not have won the Superbowl.