Drew Brees threw three interceptions, including a pick in the end zone by Quincy Black with 3:16 left, as Tampa Bay held off the Saints 26-20 Sunday in Tampa, Fla.
Brees passed for 383 yards, but the interceptions proved costly as the Saints (4-2) saw a four-game winning streak snapped.
On the last, decisive interception, the Saints decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 at the Tampa 4 trailing 26-20. The Saints lined up in a power formation, but Brees faked the handoff and rolled out right. Nobody was open and Brees forced a pass right to Black in the end zone.
It completed an off-kilter day for the Saints, who lost their head coach, Sean Payton, to a knee injury early in the game when tight end Jimmy Graham was roled into him on the sideline. Payton, who will have surgery on the knee today, finished the game in the Saints locker room.
Ernest Graham, playing for the injured LeGarrette Blount, rushed for 109 yards on 17 carries for Tampa Bay (4-2), which was able to run out the clock after Black's interception. Quarterback Josh Freeman completed 23 of 41 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and no sacks.
Brees completed 29 of 45 passes, hitting Graham seven times for 124 yards and Marques Colston seven times for 118 yards, including a touchdown.