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Bucs vs. Saints Game Recap - NFL Week 17 - Dec. 31, 2023

Buccaneers vs. Saints Game Recap - NFL Week 17 - Dec. 31, 2023

WEEK 17 • SUN 12/31 • FINAL
23
13

New Orleans Saints 8-8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8

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Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13 | 2023 NFL Week 17

With their playoff hopes on the line the New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-13 on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

The win improved the Saints to 8-8 and moved them into a tie for first with Tampa Bay (8-8) in the NFC South. The Saints will need to beat the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) next week and have Tampa lose to Carolina (2-14) in order to win the division. Getting a wild-card berth is more complicated.

The Saints offense started fast, scoring their first touchdown on an opening possession this season, and the defense squeezed the Bucs, holding them to 44 yards of offense in the first half and forcing four turnovers.

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The Saints did have a tough day with injuries as running back Alvin Kamara left at the end of the first half with an ankle injury while right tackle Landon Young and linebacker Nephi Sewell left with knee injuries. Kamara surpassed the 10,000-yard mark from scrimmage before he left.

Quarterback Derek Carr had a strong game, completing 24 of 32 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns, the first a 4-yarder to tight end Juwan Johnson and the second a 22-yarder to Taysom Hill. Johnson had the best game of his career with eight catches for 90 yards. Kicker Blake Grupe had three field goals (45, 28 and 38 yards). Running back Jamaal Williams took most of the snaps after Kamara left, carrying 19 times for 58 yards and catching four passes for 13 yards.

New Orleans cornerback Alontae Taylor had his first career interception in the first half while safety Johnathan Abram had a key forced fumble and an interception in the second half. Linebacker Demario Davis recovered the fumble that Abram forced and returned it for 22 yards. Cornerback Isaac Yiadom recovered a fumble by Trey Palmer at the 13-yard line to end a Tampa scoring chance. Zack Baun and Bryan Bresee had sacks of Tampa quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The Saints are waiting to find out when their Week 18 game against the Falcons will be scheduled for the Caesars Superdome. It could be Saturday or Sunday.

Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17 of the 2023 NFL season.