WON - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 New Orleans Saints 40
Ryan Fitzpatrick backpedaled giddily for about 20 yards as he watched DeSean Jackson come down with a 36-yard touchdown pass over the middle. The journeyman quarterback then turned toward the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sideline and triumphantly thrust his arm in an upward arc.
Time will tell if the Bucs are on a similar trajectory this season, but there's no denying they're off to an encouraging start.
Fitzpatrick highlighted a 417-yard, four-touchdown performance with two scoring strikes of more than 50 yards, and the Buccaneers stunned the Saints 48-40 on Sunday.
''I'm happy to announce: FitzMagic is alive and well,'' Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said of his 35-year-old reserve quarterback, who was starting for suspended 2015 first-overall draft choice Jameis Winston. ''Quite a start, huh?''
Fitzpatrick completed 21 of 28 passes without an interception and also ran for a short touchdown, bowling over free safety Marcus Williams on his way into the end zone.
''I hope somebody had him in fantasy because he went crazy today,'' Bucs receiver Mike Evans said of Fitzpatrick. ''And he was running the ball - phenomenal game. One of the most complete games I've seen.''
Coming off a playoff appearance and hosting a team that won only five games last season, the Saints were among the more heavily favored teams in Week 1. But some of the Saints' defensive players who were instrumental in New Orleans' success a season earlier had a miserable start to 2018.
- REFEREE: John Perry (#132)
- UMPIRE: Mark Pellis (#131)
- DOWN JUDGE: David Oliver (#24)
- LINE JUDGE: Julian Mapp (#10)
- FIELD JUDGE: Matthew Edwards (#96)
- SIDE JUDGE: Michael Banks (#72)
- BACK JUDGE: Perry Paganelli (#46)
- REPLAY OFFICAL: James Oldham (#0)
- MICROSOFT SURFACE SIDELINE OFFICIAL: not documented
- SAINTS: 11:41-1Q Kamara 5 yd. run (Lutz kick) (6-71, 3:19)
- BUCCANEERS: 09:41-1Q Jackson 58 yd. pass from Fitzpatrick (Catanzaro kick) (4-68, 2:00)
- SAINTS: 4:25-1Q Lutz 36 yd. Field Goal (11-58, 5:16)
- BUCCANEERS: 1:58-1Q Fitzpatrick 3 yd. run (Catanzaro kick) (6-75, 2:27)
- SAINTS: 14:54-2Q Ginn 28 yd. pass from Brees (Lutz kick) (4-74, 2:04)
- BUCCANEERS: 11:12-2Q Catanzaro 33 yd. Field Goal (8-60, 3:42)
- BUCCANEERS: 4:42-2Q Godwin 9 yd. pass from Fitzpatrick (Catanzaro kick) (10-78, 5:00)
- BUCCANEERS: 4:27-2Q Evans 34 yd. fumble return (Catanzaro kick)
- SAINTS: 0:55-2Q Thomas 6 yd. pass from Brees (Lutz kick) (9-75, 3:32)
- BUCCANEERS: 11:24-3Q Catanzaro 36 yd. Field Goal (9-57, 3:36)
- BUCCANEERS: 2:58-3Q Evans 50 yd. pass from Fitzpatrick (Catanzaro kick) (4-74, 2:10)
- BUCCANEERS: 12:19-4Q Jackson 36 yd. pass from Fitzpatrick (Catanzaro kick) (6-65, 3:07)
- SAINTS: 8:54-4Q Kamara 1 yd. run (Kamara run) (10-75, 3:25)
- SAINTS: 3:31-4Q Kamara 7 yd. pass from Brees (Brees-Ginn pass) (5-66, 1:21)
- WR: #11 D. Jackson
- WR: #10 A. Humphries
- LT: #76 D. Smith
- LG: #74 A. Marpet
- C: #66 R. Jensen
- RG: #77 C. Benenoch
- RT: #69 D. Dotson
- TE: #80 O. Howard
- WR: #13 M. Evans
- QB: #14 R. Fitzpatrick
- RB: #25 P. Barber
- DE: #97 V. Curry
- DT: #93 G. McCoy
- DT: #91 B. Allen
- DE: #90 J. Pierre-Paul
- CB: #29 R. Smith
- MLB: #58 K. Alexander
- WLB: #54 L. David
- CB: #28 V. Hargreaves
- CB: #33 C. Davis
- S: #23 C. Conte
- S: #21 J. Evans
- K 7 C.Catanzaro, P 9 B.Anger, WR 12 C.Godwin, WR 16 F.Martino, S 31 J.Whitehead, RB 32 J.Rodgers, DB 35 J.Elliott, CB 36 M.Stewart, RB 38 S.Wilson, S 39 I.Johnson, TE 45 A.Cross, LB 48 J.Cichy, LB 52 C.Lynch, LB 53 A.Taylor, DE 56 J.Worthy, DE 57 N.Spence, T 61 L.Wester, OL 62 E.Smith, TE 82 A.Auclair, TE 84 C.Brate, LS 89 G.Sanborn, DE 92 W.Gholston, DE 94 C.Nassib
DID NOT PLAY
- QB 4 R.Griffin
- WR 17 J.Watson, CB 24 B.Grimes, RB 27 R.Jones, DT 50 V.Vea, OL 65 A.Cappa, OL 67 M.Liedtke, OL 72 A.Gettis
- QB 3 Jameis Winston (game 1-of-3)
- BUCCANEERS: Barber 19-69, Fitzpatrick 12-36, Wilson 1-6, Rodgers 2-1.
- SAINTS: Kamara 8-29, Gillislee 3-9, Ginn 1-5, Williams 1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: Fitzpatrick 19ATT-69CMP-417YDS-4TD-0INT.
- SAINTS: Brees 45ATT-37CMP-439YDS-3TD-0INT.
- BUCCANEERS: Evans 7-147, Jackson 5-146, Godwin 4-41, Humphries 5-27, Howard 2-54, Rodgers 1-2.
- SAINTS: Thomas 17-180, Kamara 12-112, Ginn 6-68, Watson 4-44, Carr 2-20, Hill 1-15.
- BUCCANEERS: none.
- SAINTS: none.
- BUCCANEERS: wilson 1-29, Humphries 1-4, TOUCHBACKS: 5.
- SAINTS: Lewis 3-69, TOUCHBACKS: 6
- BUCCANEERS: Humphries 2-17, Jackson 1-2.
- SAINTS: Lewis 1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: none.
- SAINTS: none.