Mark Ingram will be the first to tell you. He deserves a good chunk of the blame for the Saints’ loss at Raymond James Stadium on Monday night.
A bone-headed mistake by Ingram set the stage for a late-game comeback by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. On a second-and-8 near midfield with just over six minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Ingram caught a swing pass from quarterback Andy Dalton but bizarrely pulled up one yard short of the first-down marker. New Orleans wasn’t able to extend its drive on third-and-1 and was forced to punt the ball away.
Sure enough, Tampa Bay responded with a touchdown drive, forced another three-and-out and put up another seven to steal the Week 13 game between NFC South rivals. After the Saints’ tough loss, which dropped New Orleans to 4-9 on the season, Ingram took to Twitter and owned up to his miscue.
“Im sick about this one,” Ingram tweeted. “Regardless of circumstances or how I feel I have to get that fresh set of downs for the squad. I apologize to my teammates my coaches and my city for a crucial mistake. We work way too hard and sacrifice blood sweat and tears. I will be better.”
A dramatic win gives the Bucs some momentum going into Sunday’s road tilt with the red-hot San Francisco 49ers. The Saints, on the other hand, will only be playing for pride when they host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14.