Saints lose to the Bucs; will host Panthers in the playoffs

Updated: Dec. 31, 2017 at 6:48 PM CST
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(WVUE) - The Saints lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24, but still clinched the NFC South, thanks to the Falcons beating the Panthers, 22-10. The Saints led for most of the contest, until Jameis Winston found Chris Godwin for a 39-yard touchdown. The final points came on a two-point conversion by the Bucs.

The Saints (11-5) will host the Panthers next weekend in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Black and Gold are the 4th-seed in the NFC.

There's been much discussion this week if Alvin Kamara could take Rookie of the Year honors in the NFL. After his performance in Tampa, it might be hard to deny him.

The Buccaneers ran out to an early 7-0 lead, but on the ensuing kickoff, Kamara changed all that. The rookie took the kick 106 yards for a score. The return is the longest scoring play in Saints history.

On the Saints very next drive, Kamara struck again. This time a 7-yard touchdown run, staking the Black and Gold to a 14-7 advantage. Kamara racked up a 149 yards of total offense in two quarters of play.

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston answered in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, keeping the Saints ahead, 14-13.

Winston was picked off three times in the contest. Two picks by Marcus Williams, and Craig Robertson grabbed the other for the Black and Gold.

Brees also helped put some points on the scoreboard for the Saints, finding Zack Line for a 3-yard touchdown.

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