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Cam Jordan: Saints' defensive effort 'unacceptable'

NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints' defense appeared overmatched Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints surrendered an eye-popping 529 total net yards of offense -- 112 yards rushing and 417 yards passing -- en route to a 48-40 loss and leaving a bad taste in the locker room after the game.

"The 48 points we allowed today was unacceptable," defensive end Cameron Jordan said emphatically.

The Buccaneers scored 41 points on the Saints defense, and the remaining points in the final score came when safety Justin Evans scooped up running back Mike Gillislee's fumble and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown.

"They made more big pays than we did," Jordan said. "As a defense, you never want to give up 41 points. That's on the defensive line, that's on me. We got a wakeup call for sure."

The alarm clock went off after Ryan Fitzpatrick picked apart the Saints' defense with four touchdowns through the air and one on the ground. Fitzpatrick did the damage without facing consistent pressure, and the Saints failed to record a sack and totaled just two quarterback hits despite Fitzpatrick attempting 28 passes.

Jordan wasn't alone in his frustrations over not getting the job done.

"We couldn't stop anything," said cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who allowed wide receiver Mike Evans to get deep and score on a 50-yard play.

Linebacker Demario Davis agreed.

"They ran the ball, they passed the ball, converted on third down, converted in the red zone," Davis said. "Give Tampa Bay credit; they won this."

Meanwhile, the Saints aren't panicking over Sunday's defensive debacle.

New Orleans has been down this road before and experienced a slow defensive start to the 2017 season before turning it around with an eight-game winning streak. The Saints finished the season with an 11-5 record and made the postseason, so the message of staying the course resonated among the players.

"The good thing for us is that it is Week 1," Jordan said. "We can adjust this. It's early."

The Saints will face the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, then face the potent offenses of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 and New York Giants in Week 4.

Given the upcoming opponents, addressing whatever ailed the defensive unit in the regular-season opener would be the prudent thing for the Saints to accomplish.

Jordan later took to Twitter to reinforce his disappointment in the team's defensive effort and pointed the Saints will use the coming week to improve.

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