TAMPA, Fla. - Nobody hounds Tom Brady like the New Orleans Saints.
Cameron Jordan and the New Orleans defense gave Brady fits again, shutting down Tampa Bay’s high-powered offense Sunday night as the Saints put the Buccaneers’ division-title celebration plans on hold with a 9-0 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champions.
"Just a tough night. Didn’t do much of anything right," said Brady, who smashed a tablet on the bench in frustration late in the fourth quarter.
"I wish it was just one thing. It was a lot of things," he added. "We just didn’t play well enough. We’re not going to win scoring no points."
Despite playing without coach Sean Payton on the sideline, the Saints (7-7) beat the Bucs (10-4) for the seventh straight time during the regular season — fourth since Brady left New England for Tampa Bay in 2020.
And no doubt, defense was the driving force behind this one.
"You can’t say enough about what they did to pitch a shutout like that. And against a Brady-led offense, it’s incredible," Saints quarterback Taysom Hill said. "Part of our play calling and all that was reflective of how well they were playing."
The victory gave New Orleans a sweep of the season series between the NFC South rivals and boosted the Saints into playoff position with a hold on the conference’s final wild card. It also forced Tampa Bay to wait at least another week to clinch its first division crown since 2007.
The Bucs, who did win a playoff game at New Orleans last January en route to winning the Super Bowl, lead the division by three games with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
With defensive coordinator Dennis Allen standing in for Payton, who missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19, the Saints stymied the NFL’s No. 1 passing and scoring offense and ended Brady’s streak of 255 consecutive starts (including playoff games) without being shut out.
Brady leads the NFL in completions (404), attempts (602), yards passing (4,348) and TD passes (36), but he was just 26 of 48 for 213 yards and one interception — the eighth he’s thrown in four regular-season games against the Saints, who didn’t have any turnovers Sunday night.
Hill, meanwhile, was 13 of 27 for 154 yards and no interceptions for New Orleans, which also got field goals of 39, 35 and 42 yards from Brett Maher.
Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians had bigger concerns Sunday night than the Buccaneers failing to clinch their first division title since 2007.
The list of players injured in a 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints included wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, and running back Leonard Fournette.
"It hurts more losing all the players we lost," Arians said. "We lost about seven starters in this game."
Godwin (knee) and Evans (hamstring) left in the second quarter. Fournette (hamstring) exited in the third.
"A lot of guys got banged up tonight but that’s part of football," quarterback Tom Brady said. "So, got to try and figure out who can go in and fill in some roles and play great football."
Bucs linebacker Lavonte David also left after injuring his foot.
Arians had no postgame updates on the injuries.
The Bucs, who did win a playoff game at New Orleans last January en route to their Super Bowl title, lead the NFC South by three games with three weeks remaining in the regular season.