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Game notes: New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With the win, New Orleans improves its record to 4-1 and remains in first place in the NFC South. New Orleans returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 13 when it faces the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Field. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. CT.

With the win, the Saints move to 3-0 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome this season, their first 3-0 start at home since 2013, when they went 8-0.

The win improves New Orleans’ all-time record against the Buccaneers to 34-21. The Saints’ 34 regular season wins over Tampa Bay are their second-most wins against any other NFL franchise, breaking a tie with the Rams, and trailing only Atlanta (48 wins).

Sunday's win is the 375th win in franchise history, including regular season and postseason. The win is also the 200th regular season home victory in franchise history, including games played at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, Tulane Stadium, San Antonio’s Alamodome, and London’s Wembley Stadium.

The win evens the franchise’s record in home contests (including regular and postseason) at 207-207-1.

With the win, Coach Sean Payton improves his record against Tampa Bay to 15-10 and his home record against the Buccaneers to 8-5. This is the seventh time Payton’s Saints have won their NFC South opener (7-6 in his career in NFC South openers). The Saints have qualified for the postseason five of the six previous times they have won their division opener under Payton. Payton also improves his record against Tampa Bay Coach Bruce Arians to 3-1.

The Saints offense racked up 457 total yards including 112 rushing yards and 345 passing yards.

Three players (Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill, Alvin Kamara) completed passes for the Saints for the first time since Billy Joe Hobert, Danny Wuerfell, and Lamar Smith did so on September 6, 1998 when the Saints defeated the St. Louis Rams in St. Louis in their 1998 season opener.

Defensively, the Saints help Tampa Bay to 252 total yards, their lowest offensive output of the season. Buccaneer running backs Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones II gained 32 and 35 yards, respectively, as the Saints have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.

Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston was held to his second-lowest passing yardage (204), lowest completion total (15) and matched his lowest completion percentage (55.6%) of the season. Winston was also sacked six times, the second time this season the Saints finished with six sacks, sacking Houston’s Deshaun Watson six times in their season-opening defeat of the Texans.

The Saints extended their streak to 277 consecutive games without having been shut out, the longest running streak in the NFL. The fourth longest streak of its kind in NFL history, the Saints haven’t been shut out since Week 17 of 2001 (38-0 vs. San Francisco).

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater earned his 20th career victory as a starter, finishing 26-of-34 for 314 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. This is only the second four-touchdown game of Bridgewater’s career, the last coming on December 20, 2015 when Bridgewater threw four touchdowns as a member of the Minnesota Vikings in a 38- 17 defeat of the Chicago Bears. Bridgewater passed for over 300 yards for the sixth time in his career, the last coming on December 10, 2015 when he threw for 335 yards as a Viking in a 23-20 loss at the Arizona Cardinals. Bridgewater’s 42-yard completion to Michael Thomas on the first play of the third quarter is his longest completion as a Saint.

WR Michael Thomas finished with 11 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Sunday was Thomas’ fifth multi-touchdown game in his career, and his 12th career game with at least 10 receptions. 182 yards is Thomas’ largest output since his 211 receiving yards in a Week 9 victory over the Los Angeles Rams last season, which was also the last game before Sunday's first half in which Thomas finished a half with 100 receiving yards.

Thomas now has 4,330 career receiving yards, surpassing Lance Moore (4,281) for seventh place all-time in club record books. Thomas’ two scores gives him 26 career touchdowns, good for sole possession of eighth in club record books, surpassing Quinn Early and Robert Meachem (25).

TE Jared Cook turned in his best game as a New Orleans Saint, finishing with season highs in receptions (four), receiving yards (41), and his first touchdown of the year.

WR Ted Ginn Jr. finished with two receptions for 35 yards and his first touchdown since Week 3 of last season. Ginn’s 33-yard touchdown came on the third play of the third quarter, capping off a 75-yard, 1:16 touchdown drive.

RB Alvin Kamara accounted for 62 rushing yards on 16 attempts, 42 receiving yards on six receptions, and 13 passing yards on 1-for-1 passing. Kamara’s first career pass attempt and completion converted a Saints’ third-and-3 for a first down. The Saints scored on the following play, with a Michael Thomas 12-yard touchdown capping off a 13-play, 91-yard third quarter drive.

Kamara has now carried the ball at least 13 times in each game this season and at least 16 times in each of New Orleans’ last three contests.

TE Josh Hill finished with 39 yards on three receptions, his second straight game with three receptions.

QB Taysom Hill finished with two rushes for 16 yards and completed his first pass attempt of the season, an 18-yard completion with 12:53 to play in the second quarter, extending a Saint’s 9-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.

RB Latavius Murray finished with seven carries, his highest total as a member of the Saints. He finished with 28 rushing yards and added six receiving yards on two receptions.

LB Demario Davis and CB P.J. Williams led New Orleans with seven tackles each. Davis surpassed 800 career stops and added one tackle for loss and two pass defenses. Williams also added a tackle for loss and pass defense.

DE Marcus Davenport tied a career high for sacks in a game, taking down Winston two times. Davenport added three quarterback hits and one forced fumble, which was recovered by Tampa Bay.

NT Malcolm Brown, DE Carl Granderson, DE Cameron Jordan, and DT Sheldon Rankins all recorded one sack.

LB A.J. Klein surpassed 300 career stops, finishing with six tackles, moving his career total to 305. Klein also finished with a tackle for loss.

DE Cameron Jordan recorded his third sack of 2019, and now has 75.5 career sacks. He is .5 sacks away from becoming only the fourth Saint with 75 career quarterback takedowns. Jordan has now sacked Winston eight times, tied for his second-most takedowns of any signal-caller all-time, having also sacked Carolina’s Cam Newtown eight times and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan 14 times.

Jordan played in his 133rd career game, moving into a tie with LB Sam Mills for 24th in the club’s all-time games played list.

Three days after being named the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Month for September, P Thomas Morstead punted three times for a 37.7 yard average and dropping one punt inside the 20.

K Wil Lutz converted a 29-yard field goal for the Saints’ first points of the game and has now converted his last 10 field goal attempts.

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