Published: Mon, January 01, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Saints lose to Buccaneers, win NFC South anyway

Saints lose to Buccaneers, win NFC South anyway

The Saints got a big game from rookie Alvin Kamara, who returned the Bucs first kickoff 106 yards for a touchdown, tying the game at 7-7. Saints safety Marcus Williams intercepted Winston at the Saints' 35 to set up the drive.

After three consecutive incompletions, Winston found tight end Cameron Brate for a 12-yard gain on fourth-and-10 and the dramatic drive was on.

News had come Friday that head coach Dirk Koetter would be back for a third season in 2018. Safety Josh Robinson stripped Saints' Tommylee Lewis of the ball on the return and Bucs' safety Isaiah Johnson recovered, running the ball in for the score and putting the Buccaneers up 20-17 with 14:04 remaining in the fourth quarter.

TAMPA — After four straight one-score losses, the Bucs finally got the close win theyve been waiting for.

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The Buccaneers (4-11) scored on a pair of 1-yard runs, the first by Peyton Barber and the second by quarterback Jameis Winston.

Tampa Bay had a chance to tie the game before the half, but after Winstons 1-yard touchdown run, Murray missed the extra point, giving the Saints a 14-13 halftime lead.

The Bucs connected on a 42-yard field goal on their next drive to cut New Orleans lead to 24-23 with 4:31 left on the clock.

For the Saints, left tackle Terron Armstead (thigh) was inactive.

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The No. 4-seeded Saints (11-5) will host the No. 5 Panthers (11-5) in the first round next Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin with nine seconds remaining - capping a desperation 95-yard drive with no timeouts - to produce a 31-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

New Orleans would not be able to answer and the Bucs won their last game of the season, 31-24.

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