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Brees tosses four TDs, Saints hold off Buccaneers

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By Fred Goodall, AP Sports Writer

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jonathan Vilma played for the first time while appealing a season-long suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program and Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns to pace a 35-28 come-from-behind victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

While it's debatable how much Vilma's return impacted the Saints defense, the unit turned back two drives near the end zone in the second half, including the final three plays of the game to preserve New Orleans' second straight win.

Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49, while leading long scoring drives on four straight possessions to turn a 14-point deficit into a 28-21 halftime lead.

Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns for the Bucs. His bid to force overtime ended with three straight incompletions from inside the Saints' 10.

Game stats

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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