Drew Brees leads Saints easily past Buccaneers

NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees passed for 307 yards and four touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints recorded their first shutout since 1995 in a 41-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, virtually ending the Bucs' already slim playoff hopes.

Brees connected on his scoring passes with tight end David Thomas, running back Darren Sproles and receivers Lance Moore and Joe Morgan. Mark Ingram added an 11-yard touchdown run.

Josh Freeman endured one of his worst outings of the season for Tampa Bay (6-8), throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble. Jabari Greer made two interceptions, Rafael Bush and Isa Abdul-Quddus the others. Cameron Jordan forced Freeman's fumble on a sack and recovered it.

New Orleans (6-8) also bottled up standout rookie running back Doug Martin, holding him to 16 yards on nine carries.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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