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Jameis Winston — not Drew Brees — throws first Saints TD vs. Bucs on wild trick play

January 18th, 2021

Midway through the second quarter Sunday, Jameis Winston was the leading passer for the New Orleans Saints.

He got there on one play.

With the Saints trailing 10-6 after a Drew Brees interception set up the first Tampa Bay touchdown, head coach Sean Payton drew up a trick play for the former Buccaneers quarterback.

On first-and-10 at the Saints 44, running back Alvin Kamara lined up in shotgun behind center without Brees on the field. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders ran in motion from the left side and took a handoff from Kamara before tossing it to Winston, who had lined up wide right.

By the time Bucs defenders figured out what was happening, Tre’Quan Smith was running free in the secondary and under a perfectly thrown deep ball from Winston that he carried into the end zone.

Jameis Winston converted on the biggest play of the half against his former team. (AP Photo/Butch Dill/file)

A flag at the line of scrimmage had Saints fans surely ready to erupt, but officials picked it up, and the touchdown stood for the first of the day by the Saints.

At that point, Winston’s 56-yard scoring pass bested Brees 31-yard effort on the day that required 13 passes and also included an interception. The Saints needed a spark, Payton drew one up and Winston executed.

The play looked eerily similar to one the Chicago Bears drew up in last week’s wild-card loss in the Superdome.

Except unlike Javon Wims, Smith managed to corral the perfectly placed pass.

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