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Winston, Bucs stun Saints in season finale

01 January, 2018, 04:08 | Author: Hannah Francis

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.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston threw a flawless 39-yard strike to Chris Godwin, capping off a 95-yard game winning drive, as Tampa stunned New Orleans, 31-24, Sunday.

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. That led to the punt to the 5-yard line, which Winston converted into a massive opportunity. Winston connected three times with Mike Evans, who finished the season with 1,001 receiving yards, passing the milestone on his last catch of the season. He dropped the New Orleans signal caller for a loss of seven on third-and-3 that forced the Saints to give the ball back.

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.




If the Saints (11-4) defeat the Bucs (4-11), New Orleans will win its first NFC South title since 2011. Isaiah Johnson recovered it and returned it for a 7-yard touchdown.

New Orleans Saints running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have combined to have outstanding seasons. Kamara would add a 7-yard rushing touchdown and a 40-yard catch, continuing a phenomenal rookie season.

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 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.

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