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Bucs' possible tying TD vs. Saints negated by penalty

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano believed his team had forced an improbable overtime.

Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams appeared to catch a touchdown pass on fourth-and-9 with time running out against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, but an illegal touching penalty on Williams took the points off the board. The Saints survived to win, 35-28, making both NFC South teams 2-4.

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"I was very excited that we scored," Schiano said. "Obviously, we are going for one, and I'm thinking about overtime, who is going to go do the coin toss and how we're going to go and all that, and that quickly left my mind when I saw the one official with his hat off. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what that equals.

"What's called is called -- you live with it," Schiano added. "There is nothing you can do about it. Whether he did or didn't, we'll see it on tape. That's life."

The near-touchdown came only one play after it looked like Vincent Jackson almost caught the game-winner. He was ruled out of bounds.

Williams clearly was shoved out of bounds by a Saints defender -- defensive back Malcolm Jenkins later admitted that New Orleans practices how to legally do it -- and it was ruled that Josh Freeman was out of the pocket at the time, so no illegal contact was called. Williams was the first person to touch the ball after going out of bounds.

"I thought we had the game tied," Williams said, via The Associated Press. "A swing of emotions. He gave me a little push. I have to be strong enough to stay inbounds."

The wild ending capped a wild game that included more than 300 passing yards and four touchdowns for Drew Brees in the first half alone. It included the return of Jonathan Vilma and Joe Vitt (at the airport). It almost included two touchdowns by the Bucs in the fourth quarter.

The Saints are one more win away from real hope that they can be relevant again this season.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter at @greggrosenthal.

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