By Brett Martel, AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Josh Freeman passed for two touchdowns and the Buccaneers beat the Saints 23-13 on Sunday to stay alive in the NFC playoff race.
Tampa Bay (10-6) entered the game needing a victory and losses by both the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers, who played later Sunday, to make the playoffs.
Freeman passed for 255 yards, including a 2-yard scoring strike to Dezmon Briscoe in the back of the end zone, and an 18-yard TD to Mike Williams on fourth-and-short.
Connor Barth hit three field goals, the third from 48 yards to give the Bucs a two-score lead with 4:01 to go.
Reggie Bush had 70 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving for the Saints (11-5), who were locked into the fifth playoff seed in the NFC by Atlanta's 31-10 win over Carolina and pulled several starters in the fourth quarter.
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