Quarterback Richard Todd's two pass completions in the final 2:35 today set up the New Orleans Saints' 17-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The first pass went 24 yards to Tyrone Young. The second began a 51-yard play by fullback Hokie Gajan that put the ball at the 13 of Tampa Bay (0-2). That play went seven yards in the air and 44 on the ground as Gajan tightroped the right sideline past the Buccaneers' secondary. The fullback said he shifted gears when he saw open field in front of him: "I went from slow to slower."
Gajan then gained five yards to the eight and scored the next play.
"It's really good for a team to learn to come back, and come back in the last two minutes," said Coach Bum Phillips, whose team is 1-1. "It's not good for old men's hearts, but it's good to learn."
The late-game rally overshadowed a fine performance by Tampa Bay's kicker, Obed Ariri, who once tried out with the Washington Federals of the U.S. Football League and was let go.
Ariri made his first two field-goal tries in the NFL, from 48 yards in the second quarter and 40 in the third.