for this game

Buccaneers stun Saints with late TD

Dec 3, 2007 - 4:00 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- A questionable coaching decision opened the door for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to steal a game from the New Orleans Saints and take command of the NFC South.

Luke McCown threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens with 14 seconds to play to lift the Buccaneers to a stunning 27-23 victory over the Saints on Sunday.

In his first start in three years, McCown threw for 313 yards and two touchdown passes as Tampa Bay (8-4) opened a three-game lead in the division over the Saints (5-7) and the Carolina Panthers.

"I've never been in a game like that in all my life," McCown said. "All I know is that we never quit. All the time Coach told me it wasn't over, and you saw out there today why you have to have faith."

McCown's late heroics helped him atone for a major gaffe, when he was sacked for a safety by Will Smith to give New Orleans a 23-20 lead and the ball with 3:52 to play.

A poor punt by the Bucs then gave the Saints excellent field position at their own 49-yard line, but a controversial play call handed the ball back to Tampa Bay.

The Saints attempted an end-around, but running back Reggie Bush's pitch to Devery Henderson went awry and tackle Jovan Haye recovered at the Saints' 37-yard line.

"That was a disappointing loss and probably the worst job I have done as a head coach since I've been here," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "Obviously I regret the play call that resulted in a fumble and cost us the game. It starts with me."

McCown needed eight plays to get Tampa Bay into the end zone, including a gamble on 4th-and-1 at the 29-yard line that Earnest Graham converted.

"There was a lot of emotion out there today," Graham said. "On that fourth-down play, it shows Coach had a lot of faith in us and I am glad he had that confidence in our line to take it to him.

"The call won us the division. We are in the driver's seat now we have to take it home."

Graham rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and added seven catches for 37 yards. Wide receiver Joey Galloway had seven receptions for 159 yards.

McCown completed 29-of-37 passes for 313 yards, two TDs and an interception. Tampa Bay only punted twice - with one coming as a result of a safety.

"We tried not to play defensively with a young quarterback playing in his first game in a long time," Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said. "Luke McCown responded. For us to win this game, we knew we would have to score some points. The only way we were going to do it was by throwing it."

Saints quarterback Drew Brees finished 17-of-23 for 179 yards and two scoring passes.

"They (Tampa Bay) really seemed to possess the ball a lot today," Brees said. "They were very efficient and we couldn't put together really solid drives like they could."

Brees had thrown touchdown passes to Henderson and Terrance Copper, and cornerback Mike McKenzie returned McCown's only interception of the game 53 yards for a touchdown to give New Orleans a 21-20 lead heading into the fourth period.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 10 7 7 27
    NEW ORLEANS 7 7 7 2 23 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 27 YD, 5:06. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:06. Key plays:
    McCown 15-yard pass to Galloway to
    New Orleans 47; McCown 16-yard pass
    to Askew to New Orleans 31; McCown
    12-y

    Dec 2 7:22 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    JERRAMY STEVENS 4 YD PASS FROM LUKE MCCOWN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 27
    NEW ORLEANS 23 0:14 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 7:15 PM
  • 112
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 40 roots (Close Finish)

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 7:15 PM


  • NFL
    SAFETY NOR
    LUKE MCCOWN TACKLED BY WILL SMITH IN END ZONE
    TAMPA BAY 20
    NEW ORLEANS 23 3:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 7:03 PM
  • 72
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    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 6:59 PM
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    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 6:42 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 10 7 20
    NEW ORLEANS 7 7 7 21 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 27 YD, 5:06. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:06. Key plays:
    McCown 15-yard pass to Galloway to
    New Orleans 47; McCown 16-yard pass
    to Askew to New Orleans 31; McCow

    Dec 2 6:33 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    MIKE MCKENZIE 53 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (OLINDO MARE KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 20
    NEW ORLEANS 21 3:05 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 6:24 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    EARNEST GRAHAM 25 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 20
    NEW ORLEANS 14 9:36 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 6:00 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 10 13
    NEW ORLEANS 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 27 YD, 5:06. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:06. Key plays:
    McCown 15-yard pass to Galloway to
    New Orleans 47; McCown 16-yard pass
    to Askew to New Orleans 31; McCown
    1

    Dec 2 5:35 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    DEVERY HENDERSON 45 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (OLINDO MARE KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 13
    NEW ORLEANS 14 3:21 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 5:23 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 31 YD
    TAMPA BAY 13
    NEW ORLEANS 7 7:52 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 5:12 PM
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  • NFL
    TD TAM
    ANTHONY BECHT 1 YD PASS FROM LUKE MCCOWN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 10
    NEW ORLEANS 7 14:20 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 4:54 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 3
    NEW ORLEANS 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 27 YD, 5:06. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:06. Key plays:
    McCown 15-yard pass to Galloway to
    New Orleans 47; McCown 16-yard pass
    to Askew to New Orleans 31; McCow

    Dec 2 4:50 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    TERRANCE COPPER 4 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (OLINDO MARE KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 3
    NEW ORLEANS 7 2:05 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 4:45 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 27 YD
    TAMPA BAY 3
    NEW ORLEANS 0 9:54 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 4:22 PM
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    NJN007 Added 5 roots

    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 2 4:21 PM
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    Buccaneers vs. SaintsDec 1 9:20 AM
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    Buccaneers vs. SaintsNov 29 10:54 PM
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    Buccaneers vs. SaintsNov 29 9:39 PM