NEW ORLEANS, La. - Under the direction of interim head coach Joe Vitt, the New Orleans Saints put togther their most complete and most thorough performance of the season, routing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-0 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday.
Vitt, who has been the interim head coach while Sean Payton serves a season-long suspension, saw the Saints race to a 24-0 first half lead. In the win, the Saints held Tampa to 67 rushing yards and forced five turnovers.
Quarterback Drew Brees passed for 307 yards and four touchdowns as New Orleans posted its first shutout since 1995.
"I've been in the league for 34 years and you can count on one hand how many times I've been a part of one (shutout)," said Coach Vitt. "This is a league of skilled, skilled athletes and highly competent coaches. That's not to say that Tampa's not competent. They are. They stop the run better than anybody in the league. They run the football well. Greg Schiano has done a great job with that team.
"But it's certainly a tribute to (Defensive Coordinator) Steve Spagnuolo and that staff and the players in the way that they've stuck together," he added. "If anybody in this (media) room, ever envisioned a shutout after the first couple of games this year, you couldn't have predicted that."
With left tackle Jermon Bushrod, another former Tiger football standout, doing the blocking, the Saints rolled up 447 yards of total offense.
The Saints, who are now 6-8 on the season, close out their schedule with a game at Dallas next week and a home game against Carolina in two weeks.