EditorsNote: fixes typo in Bridgewater’s name; changes Bucs drive to 75 yards, not 70; minor editing
Teddy Bridgewater passed for 314 yards and four touchdowns as the New Orleans Saints defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24 on Sunday.
Bridgewater completed 26 of 34 passes and had his highest yardage total of the season as the Saints (4-1) improved to 3-0 since Bridgewater replaced injured Drew Brees in the starting lineup.
Michael Thomas caught two of the touchdown passes and finished with 11 catches for 182 yards. Jared Cook and Ted Ginn Jr. caught one touchdown each.
The Buccaneers (2-3), who set a franchise record for points in a 55-40 victory over the Los Angeles Rams a week earlier, struggled against a Saints defense that led the way in a 12-10 victory against Dallas a week ago.
Tampa Bay finished with 252 total yards, and Jameis Winston completed 15 of 27 passes for 204 yards and was sacked six times.
On the first possession of the second half, Bridgewater connected with Thomas for a 42-yard gain before he found Ginn for a 33-yard touchdown and a 24-10 lead.
The Buccaneers responded with a 17-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Peyton Barber. That cut the Saints lead to 24-17.
New Orleans drove 91 yards in 13 plays, the last of which was a 12-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Thomas with 10:37 left in the game.
Winston threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin with 13 seconds left.
The Saints scored first on Wil Lutz’s 29-yard field goal before Winston’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Godwin gave the Buccaneers a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After Bridgewater threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Thomas, Matt Gay kicked a 42-yard field goal for Tampa Bay.
Bridgewater added a 9-yard touchdown pass to Cook that gave New Orleans a 17-10 halftime lead. It was the first touchdown of the season for Cook, who was one of the Saints’ top free-agent acquisitions in the offseason after he had a career year in Oakland last season.
—Field Level Media