Saints lose to Buccaneers, win NFC South anyway

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs in for a touchdown during the first half of an National Football League game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 31, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.

The Bucs (5-11) got 363 passing yards from Winston, who was able to overcome three interceptions with one drive to finish a frustrating season on a high note. That led to the punt to the 5-yard line, which Winston converted into a massive opportunity.

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

Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan picked up his 13th sack of the season, on a play that ended the first half.

But Saints return man Tommylee Lewis was stripped by Tampa Bay's Josh Robinson and the fumble was recovered by Isaiah Johnson, who scooped it up and scored from the 7.

More news: Pulwama Encounter: Four CRPF men, two militants killed

If the Saints (11-4) defeat the Bucs (4-11), New Orleans will win its first NFC South title since 2011.

The Bucs had taken the lead back in the fourth quarter with a huge play on special teams. His last came on a third down after the Bucs had been in the red zone, taking away a potential go-ahead field goal in the third quarter. Ingram and Kamara had already combined for 182 yards from scrimmage.

Winston's ill-advised end-zone pick to Saints rookie safety Marcus Williams, his second interception of the game, led to Wil Lutz's 48-yard field goal and a 17-13 New Orleans advantage after three quarters.

Kamara's kickoff return broke the team record of 102 set by Eric Guliford in a 38-24 loss at St. Louis in the 1997 season opener and tied the score 7-7 with 9:29 to go in the first quarter.

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