The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off a shocking upset on the road against the New Orleans Saints, improving to 3-1 and gaining sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a convincing 26-9 victory over the Saints.
The Buccaneers controlled the game, not allowing the Saints to score a touchdown. Derek Carr was held to just 127 passing yards on the game in the loss, while Baker Mayfield threw for three touchdowns in the big win for the Buccaneers.
Aside from moving into first place, the game held some historical significance for the Buccaneers, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.
Bucs defeat the Saints 26-9, marking the first time EVER that they’ve beaten the Saints three times in a row.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) October 1, 2023
The two teams first played against each other in 1977, and moved into the NFC South division together in 2002. The Saints led the series heading into today 39-24, with the Buccaneers never having won three in a row against the Saints despite their longstanding rivalry together.
Making the win even more impressive was that the Buccaneers were shorthanded for much of the game, after star wide receiver Mike Evans left the game with a hamstring injury. That didn't slow down Tampa Bay's passing game, however, as Mayfield diced up one of the league's best defenses and leaned on Chris Godwin, who finished the game with 8 receptions for 114 yards.
The Buccaneers will enter Week 5 in first place in the NFC South, and will have a bye week for Evans and every other member of the team to rest up and get healthy. The Bucs will play host to the Detroit Lions in Week 6 and will look to extend their franchise record-setting winning streak over the Saints in a matchup in Week 17.