With LeGarrette Blount inactive, the Bucs were expecting to lean heavily on quarterback Josh Freeman and Freeman has certainly delivered Sunday in the first half against the New Orleans Saints. Freeman connected with both Arrelious Benn and Preston Parker for touchdowns as the Bucs offense looks to rebound from their woeful performance in San Francisco.
Freeman finished the half 16 of 24 for 193 yards while back up running back Earnest Graham has not missed a beat with Blount out, carrying the ball 7 times for 46 yards, including a 34 yard run that got the Bucs from inside their 20 and out to midfield.
The highlight, however, came when Freeman connected with Benn on their 65 yard TD. Benn ran a simple deep slant, coming off the line of scrimmage untouched by Malcom Jenkins. He streaked across the field with no defenders within five yards of him. Freeman hit him in stride and Benn raced to the corner of the end zone. It was a quick Bucs response to the Saints first touchdown of the game.
The Saints will receive the 2nd half kickoff, after adding a late field goal to cut the Bucs lead to ten. Their coach, Sean Payton, will coach the 2nd half from the booth upstairs after suffering a nasty hit on the sidelines when Jimmy Graham was tackled out-of-bounds. It appeared to be a serious knee injury, one that forced him to coach the remainder of the first half sitting on the bench (photo via @Jose3030).