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Saints drop Bucs in NFC South opener

New Orleans Saints’ Cameron Jordan

NEW ORLEANS – Teddy Bridgewater led the New Orleans Saints to their third consecutive victory 31-24 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Bridgewater, starting his third game in place of the injured Drew Brees, was 25 of 33 for 314 yards with four touchdown passes. Receiver Michael Thomas caught 11 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

The Saints (4-1) won their first NFC South game and remain in firm control of the division as the Carolina Panthers (3-2) are in second with the Buccaneers (2-3) in third.

Tight end Jared Cook also caught a 9-yard touchdown and Ted Ginn Jr. had a 33-yard touchdown reception.

The Saints’ defense sacked Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston six times. Marcus Davenport had two and Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, Malcom Brown and Carl Granderson each had one.

The Saints will travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars (2-3) next Sunday. The Jaguars lost to the Carolina Panthers 34-27 on Sunday.