Winston accounts for 2 TDs for first win
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jameis Winston passed for a touchdown and ran for another, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held on to defeat the mistake-prone New Orleans Saints 26-19 on Sunday.
Winston, who was intercepted twice and sacked four times in a losing NFL debut at home a week earlier, remained largely composed in the hostile Superdome. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards and was not intercepted. He lost one fumble, but the Saints couldn’t cash in, missing a 42-yard field goal.
His touchdown pass was a 15-yarder to Vincent Jackson.
The Saints turned the ball over twice on fumbles – one each by running back Mark Ingram and receiver Willie Snead – and once on Chris Conte’s interception of Drew Brees. Still, New Orleans had two plays to tie it from the Bucs 27 in the final 8 seconds, but both passes fell incomplete.
Buccaneers kicker Kyle Brindza hit four field goals ranging from 22 to 55 yards. Three of those kicks helped Tampa Bay build a 23-7 lead. But the Bucs made their own mistakes in the form or late turnovers and penalties that forced them to sweat it out until the final play.
On the next possession after Winston’s fourth-quarter fumble, running back Doug Martin lost the ball, setting up Snead’s first-career touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Brees. But first-year kicker Zach Hocher’s point-after kick was blocked, leaving the Saints down 23-19.
Because of a tripping penalty by lineman Joe Hawley that wiped out a first-down gain on a screen, Tampa Bay was forced to punt the ball back to New Orleans with about three minutes left.
Ingram’s fumble, recovered by Henry Melton just before he slid out of bounds, gave the Bucs a chance to close it out, but they could do no better than a field goal, giving New Orleans just over a minute to march down the field.
Again, Tampa Bay seemed to have won the game when Brees was sacked and fumbled, but the Bucs were offside.
Ingram had an 11-yard touchdown run that gave New Orleans its only lead at 7-3. Fullback Austin Johnson’s 1-yard TD run made it 23-13 with about 7 minutes left, but the Saints’ 2-point try, a pass to Snead, came up just short.
Brees moved past former Miami Dolphins Hall-of-Fame QB Dan Marino for third in completions with his 4,968th career connection early in the game. That left Brees behind Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. But the 36-year-old Saints QB, who at times seemed to be trying to loosen his right arm after a hit early in the game, did not perform to his usual standard.
He finished 24 of 38 for 255 yards and one TD.
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