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Vilma makes season debut as Saints stop Bucs

  • By Associated Press
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Jonathan Vilma played for the first time while appealing a season-long suspension for his role in the New Orleans Saints' bounty program, and Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns to pace a 35-28 come-from-behind victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

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NFL Replay
will re-air the New Orleans  Saints' 35-28 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7 on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

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While it's debatable how much Vilma's return impacted the Saints' defense, the unit turned back two Bucs drives near the end zone in the second half, including the final three plays of the game to preserve New Orleans' second consecutive win.

Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49 while leading long scoring drives on four consecutive possessions to turn a 14-point deficit into a 28-21 halftime lead.

Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns for the Bucs. His bid to force overtime ended with three consecutive incompletions from inside the Saints' 10.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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