The Saints started with the ball, establishing the run game early. Their first drive was stalled on an almost-interception by linebacker Lavonte David and New Orleans settled for a 40-yard field goal to open scoring on the day.
The Bucs would be forced to punt on their ensuing possession, but had the punt blocked by Saints' defensive back Justin Hardee and returned for a touchdown. Another blocked kick by the Bucs' Ryan Smith on the extra point attempt would prevent the Saints from going up a full seven, leaving the score at 9-0 in New Orleans' favor halfway through the first.
Midway through the second quarter, linebacker Lavonte David forced yet another fumble, recording his fourth in four games. The drive led to the Bucs' first points of the game on a Patrick Murray 50-yard field goal, to make the score 9-3 with three minutes remaining in the half.
New Orleans punched in the score on their last possession of the half on a 33-yard screen pass to running back Alvin Kamara. The Bucs got it back with 55 seconds to go but couldn't make anything happen, leaving the score 16-3 at halftime.
Tampa Bay will receive the ball to start the second half.