“He’s a work in progress right now. He does some good things and there’s some things he has to do better,” said head coach Sean Payton of Ivory.
Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns Sunday,.
The Saints set the tone with a 94-yard drive for the game’s first score. It was capped with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Lance Moore. The team’s second drive ended with a 42-yard pass to Robert Meachem, making it 14-0. A Garrett Hartley field goal on the third drive made it 17-0.
The only negative on the day seemed to be Hartley’s miss on a relatively short field goal try and the running game, missing Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, got a scare when Ivory limped off after a long run late in the game, but early reports from WWL Radio were that it was not serious. Payton didn’t comment on Ivory’s injury status.
“It was good to come out on the road and get a win like that,” he said.
Brees completed eight of his first nine attempts against the Bucs, including the TD throws to Lance Moore and Meachem. Those scores were the first two times the Saints touched the ball against a defense that had been one of the keys to a surprising start that had Tampa Bay ahead of New Orleans in the division.
The Saints began the day next to last in the NFL in rushing, averaging 75.6 yards per game. Ivory had not been much of a factor, gaining 119 yards through the first five weeks of the season. But the undrafted free agent out of Division II Tiffin set the tone for a big day with an 18-yard carry up the middle on his team's first play.
Freeman completed 25 of 43 passes for 219 yards and one TD, a 2-yard throw to Micheal Spurlock on fourth-and-goal with just over five minutes to go. A 2-point conversion attempt failed, New Orleans recovered an onside kick and scored on Betts' 1-yard touchdown that left Saints fans in the announced crowd of 51,759 chanting "Who Dat!"
Tampa Bay entered having won five of seven dating to a come-from-behind overtime against the Super Bowl champions late last season. The stretch of success has highlighted the growth of Freeman and a young defense that's gotten better since coach Raheem Morris began serving as defensive coordinator.
New Orleans scored on its first three possessions, going 94, 80 and 77 yards to build a 17-0 lead on the touchdowns by Moore and Meachem, plus Garrett Hartley's 27-yard field goal.