The New Orleans Saints pulled off a defensive masterpiece on Sunday Night Football to shut out the Tom Brady led-Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers, who were playing on their home field, entered the game as the big favorites but the Saints escaped with a 9-0 win.
Saints head coach Sean Payton tested positive for COVID-19 last week so defensive coordinator Dennis Allen took the coaching responsibilities. "I wanted to give him a game ball, but I didn't want to step outside of my job responsibilities," Saints linebacker Demario Davis said.
"Just a great leader, and he took his leadership to the next notch. It's a next-man-up league. When Sean went down, he stepped up and did a phenomenal job just pretty much being the same guy and extending himself outside of our room to the entire team."
The Saints shut out Brady
Brady was shut out for the first time since 2006. "I don't want to talk about all the things [we do to be successful against Brady], because then we're giving him a leg up. But, look, we've just gotta go out and execute our job," said Allen, who acknowledged that it helped when Tampa Bay lost receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and running back Leonard Fournette to injuries during the game.
"This wasn't about scheme. This was about our guys going out and executing and playing really hard against a really good football team." The Saints sacked Brady four times during the game. "I think that's big," Allen said.
"He does a really good job of recognizing the coverages. And when you're sending a five-man pressure, he knows where to go with the ball." Davis and C.J. Gardner-Johnson were full of praise for Allen after the game.
"He's one of the smartest coaches I've ever been around," Davis said of Allen. "He puts in game plans that are simple enough to execute but complex enough to keep other teams on their toes a little bit."
"He lets us be us," added safety Gardner-Johnson, who intercepted Brady in both games this year -- and was captured on the broadcast gleefully smiling in Brady's face Sunday. "I feel like we've got the best secondary in the league right now, regardless of stats.
If you can just go out there and pitch a shutout against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, I don't know what you want me to tell you."