Josh Freeman tossed a pair of touchdown passes and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers forced four turnovers to rebound from their worst setback in franchise history with a 26-20 home victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
To add injury to insult, New Orleans coach Sean Payton suffered an MCL tear and had a tibial plateau fracture on his team's first series after tight end Jimmy Graham collided with him following a sideline completion. Payton watched the remainder of the first half from the bench before staying in the locker room for the second half.
Drew Brees, who completed 29 of 45 passes for 383 yards, became the first player in NFL history to throw for at least 350 yards in four consecutive games. Prior to Sunday's contest, Brees had thrown for fewer than 300 yards in five straight games against Tampa Bay.
Brees, however, was intercepted by Quincy Black in the end zone with just over three minutes left as New Orleans (4-2) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end.
With the victory, Tampa Bay (4-2) pulled into a tie atop the NFC South with the Saints while putting last week's 48-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in its rearview mirror.
Freeman connected on a 65-yard scoring strike to Arrelious Benn just 1:43 into the second quarter and capped the 17-point uprising with a 19-yard touchdown to second-year receiver Preston Parker.
With leading rusher LeGarrette Blount sidelined with a knee injury, Earnest Graham carried the ball 17 times for 109 yards.