Saints lose to Buccaneers, win NFC South anyway

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The Buccaneers were the worst team in a division that’s sending three to the playoffs.

And they were able to change things, despite playing an ugly game of their own.

The Bucs came back to beat the Saints 31-24 on a Jameis Winston touchdown pass to Chris Godwin with nine seconds left, overshadowing three interceptions on the day.

He threw for 363 yards and a touchdown, showing his capability to swing wildly in either direction. It was the kind of game which will provide some degree of hope for a 5-11 team, which is bringing back coach Dirk Koetter. But it will frustrate them that the results didn’t go with it, in a year when many thought they had postseason potential.

The loss dropped the Saints (11-5) to the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs, and they’ll host Carolina next week. The Saints swept the regular season series between the teams.