It’s Brady-Brees again with 1st place on line in NFC South

NEW ORLEANS (5-2) at TAMPA BAY (6-2)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

OPENING LINE – Buccaneers by 4 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Saints 2-5; Buccaneers 4-4

SERIES RECORD – Saints lead 36-21

LAST MEETING – Saints beat Buccaneers 34-23, Sept. 13, in New Orleans

LAST WEEK – Saints beat Bears 26-23, OT; Buccaneers beat Giants 25-23

AP PRO32 RANKING – Saints No. 6, Buccaneers No. 4

SAINTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (10), RUSH (14), PASS (9).

SAINTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (8), RUSH (3), PASS (17).

BUCCANEERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (14), RUSH (23), PASS (12).

BUCCANEERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (3), RUSH (1), PASS (14).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — The Saints have won four straight in the NFC South rivalry, including an 11-point victory in this year’s season opener. … Teams led by Tom Brady and Drew Brees are meeting for the seventh time, with Brees holding a 4-2 edge. … Brady is the NFL career regular-season touchdown pass leader with 561, one more than Brees. They also rank one-two in career passing yards, with Brees throwing for 79,314 and Brady 76,760. … During the Saints’ four-game winning streak, Brees is 112 for 149 (75.2%) for 1,138 yards and seven TDs with two interceptions. … Saints RB Alvin Kamara leads the NFL with 987 yards from scrimmage, including 163 (96 receiving, 67 rushing) against the Bears last week. He leads the Saints in both yards rushing (431) and yards receiving (556). … Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring) hasn’t played since suffering a high ankle sprain vs. the Bucs in Week 1. He has 69 receptions for 848 yards and four TDs in eight career games against Tampa Bay. … WR Emmanuel Sanders is back from New Orleans’ COVID-19 reserve list after missing two games. … The Saints intercepted Brady twice, with CB Janoris Jenkins returning one of them for a TD in the season opener. … Brady has thrown 15 TD passes versus one interception over his last six games. The six-time Super Bowl champion has a streak of 189 consecutive pass attempts without a pick, nine shy of the Bucs record set by Jeff Garcia in 2007. … WR Antonio Brown is making his Bucs debut after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He joins an already potent receiving corps featuring WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Evans is tied for the league lead with seven TD catches. … Fantasy tip: Kamara has 801 scrimmage yards and eight TDs in seven career games against Tampa Bay. And while it’s uncertain how much Brown will play, he’s got history against the Saints with a 14-catch, 185-yard, two-TD outing the last time he faced them with the Steelers in 2018.

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