The Saints still lead the overall series with Tampa Bay, 21-15, but the Bucs have won eight of the last 13. The two teams are knotted at eight wins apiece since the NFC South was formed in 2002.
CB Ronde Barber matched former Bucs T Paul Gruber with his 183rd start for the franchise on Sunday in New Orleans. Barber is already alone in second place in team annals with 191 games played; in both cases, the only player ahead of Barber is former LB Derrick Brooks, who played in 224 games with 221 starts as a Buccaneer.
TE Kellen Winslow finished the day with four catches for 76 yards. His 35-yarder in the fourth quarter not only keyed a Buccaneer touchdown drive, it also gave him the club’s single-season record for most receiving yards by a tight end. That catch moved him past Jimmie Giles mark of 786, and he finished the game with 828 on the year.
K Garrett Hartley’s 28-yard field goal in the second quarter gave the Saints 500 points on the season, making them just the 12th team in NFL history to reach that plateau.
Micheal Spurlock’s 77-yard punt return for a touchdown made him just the second player in team history, joining Clifton Smith, to score on a runback of both a kickoff and a punt. Spurlock’s sprint was the fifth-longest punt return in team history.
RB Cadillac Williams’ 129 yards on 24 carries made him the first Buccaneer this season to record a 100-yard rushing game. It was the ninth 100-yard game for Williams and his first since a 122-yard game against Washington on Nov. 19, 2006.
The Buccaneers declared the following eight players inactive prior to Sunday’s game: WR Mark Bradley, WR Mario Urrutia, RB Kareem Huggins, DL Michael Bennett, G Shawn Murphy, T James Lee, WR Terrence Nunn and designated third quarterback Rudy Carpenter.
DE Jimmy Wilkerson suffered a knee injury on the Bucs’ first defensive play of the game and did not return. RB Earnest Graham sustained a toe injury in overtime and did not return.