Saints push past Tampa Bay

Staff report
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees displays the ball that he broke Johnny Unitas' record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass against the San Diego Chargers earlier in the season. Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns in the Saints' 35-28 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

The New Orleans Saints defeated NFC South Division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 35-28 shootout on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.

The Saints now lead the all-time series 11-7 in games played in Tampa Bay and will host the Buccaneers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Dec. 16.

New Orleans (2-4) recorded their second consecutive victory and will travel to Denver to face the Broncos on Sunday Night Football next week.

The Buccaneers (2-4) will travel to Minnesota on a short week to face the Vikings on Thursday Night Football.

"I am proud of the team for how they kept battling because that's what we always talk about," said Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer. "We know we have a good football team and we know we are improving each day."

Quarterback Drew Brees completed 27-of -37 passes for 377 yards, four touchdowns and a 130.1 rating while connecting with seven different receivers.

"We want to get on a streak here, but you've got to win more than one before you're on a streak," Brees said. "Now we've got two. We want to keep that going."

Brees has now recorded 62 300-yard passing games, tied for third place all-time in NFL record books. It was also the NFL-record 32nd game with at least 350 yards passing for Brees. He passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns in the first half.

"We remained calm and together and were just methodical," Brees said. "It was big to put together four drives in a row and the defense came up with some big stops to give us the opportunity for a two-minute drive at the end of the half to get more points."

Running back Pierre Thomas carried 13 times for 32 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. Running back Darren Sproles, who appeared in his 100th career NFL game, carried five times for 27 yards and caught four passes for 32 yards and a receiving touchdown.

Wide receiver Lance Moore caught nine passes while gaining 121 yards and wide receiver Devery Henderson pulled in three passes for a total of 75 yards including grabs of 30 and 40 yards.

Wide receiver Marques Colston caught seven passes for 73 yards and a touchdown reception.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins recorded nine tackles - six solo - and defensive end Junior Galette earned four tackles and a sack for a loss of five yards.

The Saints converted on nine of 15 third down attempts - 60 percent - and held the Buccaneers to just four conversions on 12 attempts - 33 percent.