1:00 PM ET, September 7, 2008
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Saints fans partied near debris piles and leaning fences -- the lingering evidence of Hurricane Gustav's path through New Orleans last week.
• Reggie Bush's 42-yard touchdown reception was the game-winner. He finished with eight catches for 112 yards, his third career 100-yard receiving game, which is the most for a running back since his rookie year in 2006.
• Drew Brees threw for 343 yards, his 14th 300-yard game since joining the Saints in 2006. He added three TD passes, his 10th game with three or more TD passes since coming to New Orleans.
• Tampa Bay's Earnest Graham led all running backs in the game with 91 yards on 10 rushes (9.1 per attempt).
-- ESPN Research
opening triumph to celebrate as well."It was a great way to start the season off," Brees said. "Obviously, coming off a week where everyone was displaced from their homes here in New Orleans, and coming back and obviously having the fans back in full force -- it was awesome."Tampa Bay had a shot to win the brutally physical, back-and-forth contest until linebacker Scott Fujita intercepted Jeff Garcia's fourth-down pass, intended for Ike Hilliard, just inside the Saints' 20-yard line with about 40 seconds to go.
Several Saints left the game with various injuries, including safety Roman Harper, cornerback Randall Gay and lineman Antwan Lake (left groin). Payton did not specify some of the injuries other than to say they appeared minor. ... Deuce McAllister dressed for the game but did not play, as expected, after missing some practice because of tenderness in his surgically repaired left knee. ... Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks left the game with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. ... Charles Grant and Bobby McCray each had one sack for New Orleans. ... Ruud had a game-high 10 tackles for Tampa Bay. ... Jonathan Vilma had nine tackles for New Orleans.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.6||7.3|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||11:27||David Patten 39 Yd Pass From Drew Brees (Martin Gramatica Kick)||0||7|
|TD||08:13||Phillip Buchanon 26 Yd Interception Return (Matt Bryant Kick)||7||7|
|FG||00:03||Matt Bryant 37 Yd||10||7|
|FG||02:49||Martin Gramatica 34 Yd||10||10|
|FG||00:33||Matt Bryant 33 Yd||13||10|
|TD||00:13||Devery Henderson 84 Yd Pass From Drew Brees (Martin Gramatica Kick)||13||17|
|TD||10:38||Ike Hilliard 2 Yd Pass From Jeff Garcia (Matt Bryant Kick)||20||17|
|TD||07:38||Reggie Bush 42 Yd Pass From Drew Brees (Martin Gramatica Kick)||20||24|