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Buccaneers...27 Saints...23

December 03, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- Devery Henderson fumbled a late, awkward toss from Reggie Bush, allowing Luke McCown to drive Tampa Bay to a touchdown with 17 seconds left that lifted the Buccaneers to a 27-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The winning score was a four-yard pass to Jerramy Stevens, who had to outleap Jason Craft to make the catch.

Tampa Bay (8-4) held out starter Jeff Garcia because of a bruised lower back and McCown responded by completing his first 15 passes. He was 29 for 37 for 313 yards and two touchdowns.

Will Smith sacked McCown for a safety that gave New Orleans (5-7) a 23-20 lead with 3 minutes 44 seconds to go. On second down at midfield, Coach Sean Payton called for a reverse. Bush had trouble with the handoff, then his pitch was late and off target. The ball squirted away from Henderson and Jovan Haye recovered at the Saints' 37.

Quoteworthy: "That's a disappointing loss and probably the worst job I've done as head coach since we've been here." -- Sean Payton, Saints coach

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