NEW ORLEANS SAINTS vs. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
SAINTS POSTGAME NOTES
*The Saints broke a three-game losing streak to improve to 6-8 on the season. The team will travel to Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Sunday and play the Cowboys (7-6). The game will be regionally televised on FOX and kickoff is at Noon CT.
*Today’s win improves New Orleans’ record to 4-3 at home, guaranteeing at least a .500 home record in five consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1989-93 campaigns.
*The game marked New Orleans’ first shutout since a 12-0 win at the New York Jets on Dec. 24, 1995, and its first at home since a 27-0 win over the Los Angeles Raiders on Dec. 16, 1991 – exactly 21 years ago today. It is the first time in franchise history that the Saints have shutout the Buccaneers. It is the 13th shutout in franchise history.
*The Saints had their first series sweep of the Buccaneers since the 2006 season and the third all-time. The Saints have now improved their record in the series to 25-17.
*The 41-point margin of victory is the third-largest in franchise history, topped only by a 62-7 victory over Indianapolis on Oct. 23, 2011, and a 42-0 shutout of Denver on Nov. 20, 1988. Sunday’s game marked the largest-ever margin against an NFC opponent.
*The Saints had five takeaways (four interceptions, one fumble) and no turnovers Sunday. The plus-5 turnover margin was New Orleans’ largest in a game since Nov. 2, 2003 at Tampa Bay.
*According to pro-football-reference.com, it is the first game since 2001 that a team has had at least four touchdown passes and no interceptions while its opponent had no touchdown passes and at least four interceptions.
*QB Drew Brees completed 26 of 39 passes for 307 yards with four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 124.6 passer rating. Brees also scrambled for an 11-yard rush at the two minute warning to convert a first down.
*Brees’ four-TD effort was the 19th of his career, snapping a tie with Tom Brady for fourth-most in NFL history. When Brees throws for at least four touchdowns, his team is 18-1.
*Brees also extended his NFL-record streak of games with 20 or more completions to 50.
*Brees now has 33 career touchdown passes against Tampa Bay, his most against an opponent.
*RB Darren Sproles had five carries for 22 yards, including a 15-yard rush, and five receptions for 21 yards, including a second quarter 2-yard touchdown reception. Sproles also returned three punts for 36 yards, including a season-long 37-yard return near the end of the second quarter.
*WR Marques Colston finished with three receptions for 60 yards. Colston has 68 receptions this season; he needs two more catches for his fourth consecutive year and sixth time in seven NFL seasons with at least 70 receptions.
*In addition to the shutout, the defense also held an opponent scoreless in a half for the first time this season. It’s the first time New Orleans held an opponent scoreless in a half since New Orleans held Carolina scoreless in the second half in the 2011 regular season finale on Jan. 1, 2012. It was the first time the Saints held an opponent scoreless in the first half since in a 31-6 win over the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 17, 2010.
*The New Orleans defense held the Buccaneers offense to only 67 rushing yards on 16 carries (4.2 avg.), the second-lowest total allowed by the Saints defense this season.
*The defense posted a season-high four interceptions and a fumble recovery, and each resulted in points for a total of 27 points off turnovers. It is the first time that New Orleans has posted four picks since an Oct. 13, 2002 game at Washington.