Nobody knew what would happen in the New Orleans Saints’ prime-time game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team has won games this year without Drew Brees under center at quarterback, and they had won before without Sean Payton working the sidelines as head coach — but this was the first time since the 2005 regular season finale that neither of the Saints’ organizational pillars were at the controls.
And New Orleans won anyway. With Payton watching from home and Brees observing at the NBC Sports studio, they throttled Tom Brady’s Buccaneers for four hours Sunday night and handed the so-called greatest of all time the worst defeat he’s ever been dealt. It was the first time in Brady’s career that he had ever been shut out at home in a 9-0 loss.
So of course Payton and Brees were ecstatic. The Saints coach (away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19) celebrated on Twitter, while Brees offered a callback to his earlier ribbing against all the experts picking Tampa Bay to beat New Orleans last year — something he moved to rectify in the “Football Night in America” pregame show, going against the grain to pick the Saints while everyone else on the panel liked the Buccaneers. See for yourself: