Drew Brees, Josh Freeman put up record numbers
Drew Brees’ day didn’t have a good start, with a pass deflected on the Saints’ opening possession and returned 30 yards by the Buccaneers’ Ronde Barber, setting up a touchdown on the next play.
And while the Bucs led 14-0, and later 21-7, Brees found his rhythm and led the Saints to touchdowns on four consecutive first-half drives, part of a gaudy first 30 minutes that saw him pass for 313 yards and four touchdowns in the Saints’ 35-28 win Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
“We stayed very calm, together. We were methodical,” said Brees, who finished with 377 yards passing. “To put together the drives we did, four in a row ... that was big. We were feeling good coming into halftime, but we knew they were saving their best punch until the end.”
Sure enough, Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman passed for 298 yards in the second half, finishing with a career-high 420 yards and rallying the Bucs back to within 9 yards of a tying touchdown on the game’s final play. Mike Williams caught the ball in the end zone, but had been pushed out of bounds and was thus ineligible to catch the winning score.
“We knew Josh could throw the ball deep,” Saints coach Aaron Kromer said. “When we covered deep, he did a good job of checking it down. Josh had a good game today, and he’s a good player. They have good wide receivers. It’s going to be a battle back in New Orleans later in the year.”
Brees was the first NFL quarterback in more than three years to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns in a first half. The Patriots’ Tom Brady did so in October 2009.
Re: Drew Brees, Josh Freeman put up record numbers
Drew Brees is the best QB in the league.
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