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Tom Brady authors record 44th comeback as Bucs stun Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after beating the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., Dec. 5, 2022.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after beating the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., Dec. 5, 2022. Photo by Nathan Ray Seebeck /USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the final three minutes as the host Tampa Buccaneers rallied to defeat the New Orleans Saints 17-16 on Monday night.

Brady, who completed 36 of 54 for 281 yards, tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Cade Otton and added a 6-yarder to Rachaad White with three seconds left to produce his NFL-record 44th comeback victory in the fourth quarter or overtime, breaking a tie with Peyton Manning.

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The Buccaneers (6-6) strengthened their hold on first place in the NFC South by sweeping the season series against the Saints (4-9).

New Orleans led 10-3 at halftime and 16-3 entering the game’s final minutes.

White fumbled and Carl Granderson recovered for the Saints at their 32-yard line midway through the third quarter. New Orleans drove to the Tampa Bay 3-yard line before stalling, and Wil Lutz kicked a 21-yard field goal that gave the Saints a 13-3 lead.

New Orleans quarterback Andy Dalton, who completed 20 of 28 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown, moved the Saints 69 yards to Lutz’s third field goal, a 29-yarder that increased the lead to 16-3 with 8:02 left in the fourth quarter.

Brady connected with Otton with three minutes left, completing a 10-play, 91-yard drive.

After a New Orleans punt, Brady drove his team 63 yards in 11 plays to the game-winner.

On the first possession of the game, Brady marched the Bucs 72 yards in 16 plays and Ryan Succop kicked a 21-yard field for a lead that held up through the end of the first quarter.

After punting on their first two possessions the Saints drove 80 yards on their third possession. Dalton threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Taysom Hill, giving New Orleans a 7-3.

Those were the first points for the Saints in six quarters after a 13-0 loss at San Francisco last week ended a streak of 332 games without being shut out.

Tampa Bay was in its two-minute offence trying to get points before halftime when Demario Davis intercepted Brady, giving New Orleans the ball at the Bucs’ 49.

Lutz’s 38-yard field goal with 20 seconds left increased the lead to seven at halftime.