Hartley kicks game-winner as Saints survive Bucs - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Hartley kicks game-winner as Saints survive Bucs

Updated:
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

New Orleans -- Garrett Hartley kicked a game-winning 27-yard field goal as time expired, and the Saints survived a sloppy 16-14 victory against the Bucs.

With no time outs remaining, the Saints marched 54 yards on five plays, thanks to clutch throws by Drew Brees and a huge 31-yard pickup by Marques Colston.

It was a thrilling finish to an overall bizarre game.

Tampa Bay linebacker Mason Foster intercepted Brees and returned it 85 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the Bucs led the Saints, 14-13.

Brees completed 26-of-46 passes for 322 yards but threw two interceptions, both of which led to Tampa's touchdowns. The Bucs also sacked Brees four times. Meanwhile, Tampa had its share of issues with 10 penalties for 118 yards.

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham hauled in 10 receptions for a career-high 179 yards and a touchdown, but the offense stalled in the second half and came up short several times in the red zone. Graham's 179 yards receiving is a new Saints single-game record for a tight end.

The game was interrupted after New Orleans' initial drive by a lighting strike and subsequent weather delay, which lasted roughly an hour and nine minutes. Before that, the Saints did score first, using a 44-yard field goal from Garrett Hartley to cap off a 12-play drive. Hartley later missed a 43-yard attempt and converted a 41-yarder. His final kick however, sealed the win.

Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman connected with wide out Kevin Ogletree on a five-yard scoring strike to make it a 7-3 Bucs lead. The Saints answered immediately, with Brees finding a wide open Graham, who raced 56 yards on his touchdown to make it 10-7 New Orleans.

Graham's 29-yard reception late in the half would later set the Saints up with a 1st-and-goal from the one situation, but the Black and Gold stalled and the Bucs eventually stuffed Mark Ingram on fourth down.

The Saints ran the ball for 75 yards on 20 carries and were five-of-14 on third-downs. The Saints defense produced a pair of turnovers and held the Bucs to 273 total yards.

New Orleans (2-0) returns to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome next Sunday to host the Arizona Cardinals.

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