The Saints are the No. 4 seed.
"Mad, disappointed", head coach Ron Rivera said.
Aside from Newton, Jonathan Stewart rushed for 68 yards and six touchdowns while Christian McCaffrey added 421 yards and two touchdowns for the ground game of the Panthers. But the Rams stayed put at No. 3 after getting walloped by the vastly improved San Francisco 49ers 34-13 because of the Saints loss to Tampa Bay.
New Orleans, which won its first NFC South title since 2011, did not blink, though.
The play capped a 95 yard touchdown drive by Tampa Bay. The Saints held a tiebreaker after defeating the Panthers twice in the regular season to win the NFC South division and take the home-field advantage. In the first game they played, the Saints went on to win 31-21 over the Panthers. Former LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander nailed him one yard short, though, and the Saints turned the ball over on downs.
Against New Orleans, Winston just so managed to pass Dolphins legend Dan Marino for the third-most passing yards by a player from their rookie season through their first three seasons under center. Saints safety Marcus Williams intercepted Winston at the Saints' 35 to set up the drive.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston answered in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. He saw a crease, and once he got through it the Bucs were helpless to catch him.