NFL: Drew Brees helps New Orleans Saints rout Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Updated: 16/12/12 10:49pm
Drew Brees: threw four touchdown passes as the Saints routed Tampa Bay
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints put paid to Tampa Bay's slim play-off hopes with a resounding 41-0 triumph over the Buccaneers.
Quarterback Brees threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns, one apiece to tight end David Thomas and running back Darren Sproles as well as efforts to wide receiving duo Lance Moore and Joseph Morgan.
In contrast, Josh Freeman endured a day to forget for the Bucs; the quarterback was picked off four times - twice by cornerback Jabari Greer - and also lost a fumble after being sacked by Cameron Jordan.
His nightmare helped the Saints - who now have a 6-8 record just like their opponents - to record their first shut-out success since 1995.
Brees completed 12 of his first 13 passes for 132 yards and his nine-yard touchdown over the middle to Thomas that broke the deadlock in the first quarter.
Garrett Hartley knocked over a 36-yard field goal before tail-back Mark Ingram completed the scoring by going in on the ground from nine yards out with just under five minutes to go.
He finished with 90 yards rushing and the Saints had their third-best total on the ground this season with 149 yards against a Tampa Bay rushing defense that came in first in the league, allowing 78.2 yards per game.
Not even running back Doug Martin could fire Tampa Bay, the rookie mustering just 16 yards on nine carries.