Carr throws for 2 TDs to help the Saints beat the Bucs 23-13 and tie NFC South standings

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Derek Carr threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns to help the New Orleans Saints stop Tampa Bay’s four-game winning streak and climb back into a tie for first place in the NFC South with a 23-13 victory over Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Carr tossed TD passes of 4 yards to Juwan Johnson and 22 yards to Taysom Hill in the first half. The Saints defense did its part to keep the Bucs (8-8) from clinching their third consecutive division title, too, by intercepting Mayfield twice and forcing a pair of fumbles.

Tampa Bay can still repeat as NFC South champions by winning at division rival Carolina in next week’s regular-season finale. The Saints (8-8) close with a division game at home against Atlanta.

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Carr completed 24 of 32 passes without an interception to outshine Mayfield, who played some of the best ball of his career during the four-game winning streak that carried the Bucs to the brink of clinching a fourth straight playoff berth.

The No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 draft, who’s with his fourth team in six seasons, threw for nine touchdowns vs. one interception during the four-game surge that followed a stretch in which Tampa Bay lost six of seven.

Pressured all game by the Saints pass rush, Mayfield went 22 of 33 for 309 yards with two interceptions and two TDs on Sunday. He was sacked twice and didn’t get the Bucs into the end zone until the fourth quarter, when Trey Palmer finished a 91-yard drive with a 22-yard TD catch.

Chris Godwin caught the second TD pass from Mayfield, scoring on a 47-yard reception with 1:37 remaining.

New Orleans led 17-0 at halftime, running twice as many plays (38 to Tampa Bay’s 19) and outgaining the Bucs 202 yards to 44 up to that point. Mayfield was 5 of 10 for 43 yards passing through two quarters, with most of his production coming on a 33-yard completion to Mike Evans.

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After turning the ball over just two times during their month-long surge, the Bucs lost the turnover battle 4-0 to the Saints.

INJURIES
Saints: WR Juwan Johnson (shoulder) left the game in the first quarter but returned. … LB Nephi Sewell (knee) was carted off early in the second quarter and did not return. Two plays later, T Landon Young (knee) limped off with help from trainers.

Buccaneers: LB Shaquil Barrett (groin) and CB Carlton Davis (concussion) were inactive after being injured the previous week against Jacksonville. … S Kaevon Merriweather (quad) left the game in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT
Saints: Return home to host the Falcons in the regular-season finale.

Buccaneers: Get another chance at clinching what would be a franchise-record third straight division title.

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