Mark Ingram apologizes for failing to get first down: “I’m sick about this one.”


With the Saints leading 16-3 and facing second-and-8 near midfield with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter on Monday night, Mark Ingram caught a short pass and had a clear path to pick up a first down. Bizarrely, Ingram stepped out of bounds a yard short of the first down.

If Ingram had picked up the first down, the Saints probably would have won the game: A fresh set of downs would have given them more plays to keep the clock running, and the Bucs wouldn’t have had time for their two late touchdown drives .

But Ingram stepping out of bounds left the Saints with third-and-1, they threw incomplete on that play and then punted on fourth-and-1, and the rest was history: Tom Brady marched the Buccaneers down the field for two touchdown drives and the Bucs won 17-16.

After the game, Ingram admitted he was to blame.

“I’m sick about this one,” Ingram wrote on Twitter. 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.”

It was an enormous missed opportunity, in a game that effectively ended any opportunity the Saints had at winning the NFC South. Ingram knows he cost his team dearly.

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