Winston, Bucs stun Saints in season finale

Winston, Bucs stun Saints in season finale

The New Orleans Saints lost at Tampa Bay, 31-24, Sunday afternoon on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston to Chris Godwin with nine seconds left. The Saints stopped one Tampa drive when rookie safety Marcus Williams made his third interception of the season and on another when linebacker Craig Robertson picked off Winston.

The Bucs would strike again a couple drives later as Winston got the touchdown on a keeper and great second effort to break the plane. The Bucs went 95 yards from their own 5-yard line without a timeout in less than two minutes.

News had come Friday that head coach Dirk Koetter would be back for a third season in 2018.

Tampa finishes the season 5-11.

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After the Bucs had taken a 24-20 lead and pinned the Saints on their 8-yard line following the kickoff, the Brees-led offense effectively sliced through Tampa Bay's defense.

Tampa Bay's fate appeared more dire at the start of the fourth quarter when Winston was sacked on third down and the Bucs were forced to punt. Bryan Angers punt was fielded deep by New Orleans Tommylee Lewis, and special-teams captain Josh Robinson stripped the ball loose. Isaiah Johnson recovered it and returned it for a 7-yard touchdown.

The Bucs had moved the ball well, limited mainly by three interceptions from Winston, who had thrown a total of two in his previous five games. The Bucs wouldn't quite even the score as kicker Patrick Murray pulled the extra point wide right, giving the Saints a narrow 14-13 lead going into halftime. Ingram and Kamara had already combined for 182 yards from scrimmage.

The Buccaneers drove 75 yards in 12 plays to cut it to 14-13 at the 5:50 mark of the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Winston on third-and-goal.

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