Buccaneers Upset Saints with Late Touchdown Drive
The New Orleans Saints came into this game Sunday with an opportunity to win the NFC South Division, the only thing that stood in their way? A win at Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers or a loss coupled with a Carolina loss to Atlanta.
A win, coupled with a Los Angeles Rams loss would catapult them into the third seed in the NFC.
That would not be the case as the Saints fell to the Bucs 31-24.
This one kicked off with a bang for both teams. The Bucs opened the game up with a 14 play scoring drive and then on the ensuing kickoff it was a hesitation move by Alvin Kamara that sprung him for a 106 yard touchdown return.Quickly we were knotted at 7.
One of the things that's hindered quarterback Jameis Winston in his young career has been turnovers and on the next drive that trend would continue as he was picked off. Marcus Williams was the man who got him on this throw.
They say a team who can turn turnovers into points is a team who can truly be successful and that's exactly what the Saints would do. Again, it would be Alvin Kamara who would scamper his way into the end zone virtually untouched from 7 yards out and New Orleans lead 14-7.
After that both offenses would stall out until about half way through the second quarter where the Bucs would get on the move. Winston would engineer a drive that lasted over 6 minutes, 75 yards, and spanned 12 plays that culminated into a one yard touchdown run by Winston. However, kicker Patrick Murray would miss his first extra point of the season. 14-13 Saints.
That is where we would stand at halftime with the Saints holding the one point lead.
The second half would open with a New Orleans punt and then a solid drive by Tampa Bay as they got the ball all the way down to the Saints 23 yard line, well within field goal range. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers the poor decision making for Jameis Winston would rear its ugly head once again.
On a 3rd and 14 Winston avoided the rush and while back peddling threw one to the back of the end zone that was picked off once again by Marcus Williams. A huge play to potentially take points off the board for the Saints.
However, after a New Orleans Wil Lutz 48 yard field goal, a major mistake by punt returner Tommy Lee Lewis. He ended up coughing up the ball in which Tampa Bay would scoop up and score for a touchdown. That made the score 20-17 in favor of the Bucs.
How would the Saints respond? Well, they would respond in a beautiful way, a 13 play drive that spanned 92 yards that resulted in a touchdown. The touchdown would be a of the 3 yard variety via the air to Zach Line. New Orleans regained the lead 24-20.
After a Tampa Bay field goal, the Saints would have a chance to run down the clock. They picked up a couple first downs but then would have to punt it away.
With just over two minutes remaining and the Bucs backed up to their 5 yard line, the Saints got Tampa Bay to a 4th and 10 but they were able to convert. From there Winston drove them down the field in what would end in a 39 yard touchdown strike to Chris Godwin who beat Ken Crawley with 9 seconds remaining. After a successful two point conversion the score would be 31-24 TB and that's where the game would end.
The Saints come up short in their regular season finale but clinched the NFC South Division crown because the Carolina Panthers lost to the Atlanta Falcons.
So, three teams from the NFC South are in and the Saints are locked into the fourth seed and will take on the Panthers at the dome.
The season finishes at 11-5 for the Saints and they're finally back into the playoffs.