NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - The New Orleans Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead before mistakes opened the door for the Buccaneers.
After two Shayne Graham field goals and a 15 yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to running back Pierre Thomas, Tampa Bay would score 10 points to close the gap at halftime.
The Buccaneers bagged 24 consecutive points, counting those 10 points in the first half, and led 24-13 in the 3rd quarter before New Orleans rallied.
Pierre Thomas continued his stellar play ripping off a 27 yard touchdown. A two-point conversion failed. No problem, the defense hung tough and sacked Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon in the end zone for a safety. Saints trailed 31-28.
Graham delivered a 44 yard game tying field goal at 6:44 of the 4th quarter and the game would go into overtime.
New Orleans won the toss and would complete a 12-play 80 yard drive with running back Khiry Robinson exploding and bulling his way 18 yards for the game winning touchdown. Robinson rushed for 89 yards on 21 attempts, netting 4.2 yards a carry.
Pierre Thomas had 4 carries for 35 yards and hauled in 8 passes for 77 yards. Rookie receiver Brandin Cooks snagged 9 catches for 56 yards and had 2 rushing attempts for 15 yards.
Under Sean Payton, the Saints have won 19 consecutive games in the Superdome. The last two have not been of the dominating variety, they have been close. However, they were victories and that's all that counts.
Payton said,"It was important for us to play well here at home. Obviously a division game being that we lost our first division game in Atlanta. So, It was good to get that win. There's a lot we can correct, a lot we can coach off that tape of the game."
Brees connected on 35 of 57 pass attempts to surpass 40,000 yards passing for the New Orleans Saints, becoming the fastest quarterback in NFL history to hit reach that mark with a single team.
On a negative side, Brees tossed 3 interceptions.
Drew Brees said,"Those can be big swings in a game like this. I think most important we responded. For me I'm going to stay aggressive, stay confident and just know the opportunities will come."
The Saints will enjoy a bye week, an open date, before they have to travel to Detroit. One thing is clear, the NFC South Division is wide-open, any team can win the title.
New Orleans is now 2 and 3 tied with Atlanta for second place in the NFC South Division. Carolina leads the pack with 3 wins and 2 losses. Tampa Bay brings up the rear at 1-4.