by The Associated Press
Quarterback Tom Brady threw two interceptions in his Tampa Bay debut, Alvin Kamara scored touchdowns running and receiving, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Buccaneers 34-23 on Sunday.
The first of Brady’s interceptions led to the Saints Kamara’s 6-yard touchdown run. The second pick thrown by the new, 43-year-old Bucs QB — who left the New England Patriots in free agency after 20 years and six Super Bowl triumphs — was returned 36 yards for a touchdown by New Orleans Defensive Back Janoris Jenkins.
Neither quarterback was statistically exceptional in this first-ever NFL game featuring two quarterbacks in their 40s. The 41-year-old Drew Brees passed for 160 yards and two TDs, but he also avoided critical mistakes. He did not turn over the ball and took only one sack.
Brees’ first TD pass was a dump-off to Kamara from 12 yards. In the fourth quarter he hit free-agent signing Emmanuel Sanders for a 5-yard score.
Few witnessed this historically significant quarterback matchup in person, with government leaders and the Saints having agreed that no fans should attend the opener amid the coronavirus pandemic. That turned the normally deafening 73,000-seat Superdome into more of an echo chamber.
When Wil Lutz’s field goal put New Orleans up 17-7, the squeaking of pulleys could be heard across the stadium as the net behind the goal post was lowered.
The New Orleans Saints will play at against the Las Vegas Raiders on the road in primetime at 7:15pm next Monday while the Bucs will host the Carolina Panthers at noon Sunday.