Don't Blame Mark Ingram For the Saints Blowing It Against the Bucs

Stephen Douglas
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. The Bucs had two 10+ play drives for touchdowns in the final five-minutes and 21-seconds. They never should have had a chance but the Saints had a disastrous three-and-out after taking a 16-3 lead midway through the fourth.

Alvin Kamara ran for two yards to start their drive with 6:54 remaining in the game. Then Andy Dalton threw a short pass to Mark Ingram who ran out of bounds a yard short of the sticks. Ingram is coming off an MCL sprain and dealing with a foot injury, so scampering out of bounds should be considered an understandable act of self-preservation with Devin White bearing down on him. However, it also looks like he could have gotten to the first down marker, which is why he's taking the brunt of the criticism tonight.

Of course, to blame Ingram, who was out there playing hurt, is not fair considering what happened next. The Saints tried another pass play which was broken up and only took three seconds off the clock. If three seconds sounds familiar, it's how much time was on the clock when Brady threw the game-winning touchdown pass.

Yeah, Ingram could and should have gotten the first down in a world where keeping a 4-8 team's season alive is the most important thing, but all the Saints had to do on the next play was not throw an incomplete quick slant pass and they would probably have still won the game. And yet Ingram is the one going on Twitter to apologize to an entire city after the game.

Where was Alvin Kamara? Where was a better call on third down? The Saints coaching staff should be apologizing, not Ingram.

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