The Saints are well out of playoff contention now, but they played the roll of spoiler for the first time in four years and dragged the Bucs out of postseason contention as well. This shutout along with the last-second loss to a struggling Philadelphia Eagles team mark the demise of the season for Tampa Bay. It seems as if Josh Freeman has regressed quite a bit over these past few games. He is completing barely half of his passes (51%) and has thrown more interceptions (5) than touchdown passes (4) over the past four games. The Tampa defense is getting assaulted through the air very frequently and this is something that has to change if they ever want to contend for the playoffs. Obviously Drew Brees is known to have field days against any defense on any given Sunday, but they also let a rookie in Nick Foles take them too the wood-works two weeks ago as well. The frustration was clearly obvious with the little boil-over between linebacker Adam Heyward and linebackers coach Bryan Cox.
Obviously this falls under the category of too little, too late but the Saints did look good (as the score would indicate). First, scoring 41 points is pretty impressive, but to also pitch a shutout on defense with that type of a lead is equally as good. Apparently this has become the time of year for teams to lay goose eggs on the scoreboard. This was one of four games over the past two weeks (and third this week) that ended with one team failing to put up a point. Even still, the Saints have not forced a shutout since 1995; so this is a feat that places the 2012 team in rare air. They draw a hot Cowboys team next Sunday and will need to duplicate this performance if they want to pull off the victory.