Saints lose to Buccaneers, win NFC South anyway

Saints lose to Buccaneers, win NFC South anyway

Saints safety Marcus Williams intercepted Winston at the Saints' 35 to set up the drive.

The Bucs (5-11), just two days after second-year head coach Dirk Koetter learned he would be retained for the 2018 season, broke a five-game losing streak and Winston (28 of 51 for 363 yards) gained a measure of redemption after throwing three critical interceptions earlier in the game. The Saints tried to run out the clock, but Brees was sacked on third-and-10.

The Bucs scored on their opening drive, getting a 1-yard touchdown run from Peyton Barber, who started and ran well, getting 63 yards in the first three quarters. 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.

The Bucs defense allowed the Saints to march 92 yards in 13 plays, going back ahead 24-20 on a 3-yard pass from Drew Brees to fullback Zach Line with 7:07 left.

For the second straight week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are without wide receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive end Robert Ayers.

The Bucs got a 42-yard field goal from Patrick Murray with 4:31 remaining, cutting New Orleans' lead to 24-23.

The Bucs came back to beat the Saints 31-24 on a Jameis Winston touchdown pass to Mike Evans with nine seconds left, overshadowing three interceptions on the day. Although the Bucs are sitting at 4-11 and have been eliminated from playoff contention, their goal is to still finish the season off strong when the two teams face off today.

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

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