On the final Sunday of the regular season, Saints receiver Marques Colston found one more way to make a special play during what could be his last outing with the franchise.
Colston caught a short pass from Drew Brees then maneuvered his way to the end zone with 1:57 left at Raymond James Stadium, allowing the Saints to exit with a 23-20 victory against Tampa Bay.
Colston’s play allowed the Saints (7-9) to recover from three Brees interceptions, including several defensive gaffs which have led to coach Sean Payton’s first losing season in New Orleans since 2008. But unlike most gamedays, the Saints found a way against Tampa Bay (2-14) to rebound.
After Colston’s 36-yard score, Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette sacked Josh McCown on consecutive plays, the second a safety, giving the Saints a three-point lead and possession.
The Saints ended the regular season with five consecutive home losses, the league’s 31st-ranked defense and a top-ranked offense which often played well below its statistics. All of which is expected to lead to personnel changes in the locker room and possibly, among the coaching staff.
Brees finished with 281 yards and one touchdown, missing out on extending his NFL-record 5,000-yard campaigns to five.
Tampa Bay didn’t make it easy, though, attempting an online kick after the safety. But a Buccaneers player touched the football with his foot before it traveled the required 10 yards.
The Saints retain possession.
The Saints outscored Tampa Bay 16-0 in the fourth quarter to sweep the Buccaneers this season. It started with Mark Ingram’s 1-yard run early in the quarter and after an McCown was intercepted by Keenan Lewis near midfield, Colston’s TD catch gave the Saints a lead.
Colston finished with two catches for 51 yards.
McCown passed for 115 yards and one score. Doug Martin rushed for 108 yards for Tampa Bay.