Sports

Buccaneers cash in on interception before Saints strike back behind Jameis Winston


Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore finally gave up a catch to wide receiver Mike Evans this year, and it came on a touchdown, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers grabbing a lead at the beginning of the second quarter of Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. On the play, Tom Brady faked a handoff to Leonard Fournette up the middle before hitting Evans, who caught the pass with Lattimore draped on his body. It was his 14th touchdown catch of the 2020 season, including the regular season.

On second-and-9, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting picked off Drew Brees on a short pass intended for Michael Thomas, returning it 36 yards to the New Orleans 3-yard line, setting up Evans’ score. It was Murphy-Bunting’s second interception in two weeks, also notching a pick off Taylor Heinicke in the Bucs’ wild-card win over Washington.

But Saints backup Jameis Winston crashed the battle between the two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks with a 56-yard touchdown pass against his former team on a beautifully executed trick play in the second quarter.

The TD pass to wide open receiver Tre’Quan Smith gave the Saints a 13-10 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 8:08 remaining in the first half.

The play actually started with Saints running back Alvin Kamara lined up at QB in a Wildcat formation and Winston lined up at receiver. Kamara took the direct snap and handed it to receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who pitched it back to Winston.

Winston faced zero pressure in the pocket as he easily connected on the deep ball to Smith without a defender in sight.

It was the first TD pass of the season for Winston, who signed with the Saints in free agency this year after spending his first five seasons in Tampa Bay.





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