Dream ending busted for Bucs receiver Cyril Grayson Jr.
Not a Saints jersey was in sight as the New Orleans native sprinted toward the end zone. Cyril Grayson Jr. caught the Tom Brady spiral near the 15, trotted toward the goal line and walked across.

The coverage had been busted. Minutes later, so had Grayson's storybook script. "I wanted to celebrate," Grayson said. "But at the same time, I knew they had so much time in the game."

On a typical afternoon, Grayson's 50-yard catch with 5:44 to play might have been the game-winner. But the Superdome is the Bucs' custom-designed snake pit, and the former LSU All-American sprinter's first career touchdown - on his second career catch - was relegated to subplot in this 36-27 Tampa Bay defeat.

"He made a hell of a run, good throw and good catch," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. "And it's a shame it wasn't the game-winner."

Elevated from the practice squad Saturday, Grayson was activated to provide depth with Antonio Brown (ankle) not traveling. He hadn't been targeted all afternoon until his would-be winner, which materialized when the Saints tracked Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and let him out of their sights.

"I kind of see the (defender) sitting low, and I think it was probably a blown coverage, and they were focused on the out-breaking route that was possibly coming," Grayson said. "I came wide open. Usually it's kind of a run-off route, and I look up and I was like, ‘Is that the ball.' I caught it, touchdown."

Deja Dome
Second-year Bucs receiver Tyler Johnson, whose definitive 2020 highlight came in the NFC division playoff game in the Superdome, continued to prosper beneath the Saints roof. Johnson had a career-best five catches for 65 yards. In the second quarter, he turned an intermediate Brady throw on third and 11 into a 31-yard gain. Johnson had an acrobatic catch of a 15-yard pass from Brady on a critical third-down play in the 30-20 playoff triumph in January.

Injury update
If you blinked, you likely missed tight end Rob Gronkowski's first action in more than a month. Gronkowski, out since fracturing ribs in a Sept. 26 loss to the Rams, was ruled out early in the second half with back spasms. He was targeted once, on a Brady pass to the end zone in which he was well covered. "Gronk probably shouldn't have played ... but he kept begging to get in there and re-injured himself," Arians said.

Joey Knight, The Tampa Times, published 1 November 2021