Drew Brees threw two early touchdown passes as the Saints jumped to a two-touchdown lead and held on for a 27-16 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday at New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Brees threw touchdown passes of three yards to Lance Moore and 21 yards to Darren Sproles to help the Saints (6-3) jump to a 14-0 start early in the second quarter . New Orleans led 17-3 at halftime and had a 24-6 lead in the third quarter after a 9-yard touchdown run by Pierre Thomas.
Brees completed 27 of 36 passes for 258 yards. He also had a 20-yard scramble on the Saints' last possession to help set up a clinching John Kasay field goal. Chris Ivory rushed 15 times for 67 yards to lead New Orleans' 195-yard rushing attack.
Josh Freeman completed 25 of 35 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown for Tampa Bay (4-4), which lost its chance to pass New Orleans in the NFC South standings. New Orleans will have a second straight division showdown before its bye week, with a visit to co-leader Atlanta next Sunday.
Atlanta also moved to 6-3 with a win over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. New Orleans completed a season split with Tampa Bay, which defeated the Saints, 26-20 Oct. 16 at Tampa, Fla.