It was over when ...
Buccaneers QB Jeff Garcia threw an interception on fourth-and-6 with 44 seconds left. Garcia had gotten the Buccaneers deep into Saints territory with a series of big throws, but his quest to lead a late comeback fell short when Saints LB Scott Fujita came down with the pick at the 19-yard line.
Reggie Bush was the driving force of the Saints offense. His acrobatic touchdown on a 42-yard catch put New Orleans ahead to stay and he finished with eight catches for 112 yards. He also had 51 rushing yards on 14 carries and was at his best when it mattered most, compiling 81 of his 163 total yards in the fourth quarter.
Tampa Bay's play-calling was curious given the team's offensive production. Despite averaging 7.3 yards per carry and only 4.8 per passing play, the Bucs threw the ball 41 times and had only 20 rushes in a close game.
Veteran LB Derrick Brooks left the game with an injury for the Bucs and did not return. ... The Saints' Deuce McAllister did not play, leaving second-year RB Pierre Thomas (52 yards on 10 carries) to back up Bush. ... Saints QB Drew Brees connected with Devery Henderson on an 84-yard touchdown pass, the longest of Henderson's career and the second-longest of Brees'. Saints DT Antwan Lake left with an injury in the first half and did not return.