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New Orleans Saints get ahead in NFC South thanks to rivals

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The New Orleans Saints are coming off their bye-week, but they still gained a little traction in the NFC South this weekend thanks to losses by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.

Tampa (4-6, 2-1 division – 3rd) is so far the only team to have beat the Saints this season in a division game, winning 26-20 at home in week six over an error prone New Orleans team.

They also beat the Falcons earlier in the season by three points, and it seemed for a moment that the Buccaneers were in contention for the south crown.

The Saints (7-3, 3-1 division – 1st) would later even the series against them in week nine by a score of 27-16 in the secure confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Enter the Green Bay Packers yesterday who gladly handed the Buccaneers their sixth lost of the season, courtesy of Aaron Rodgers who threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-26 win.

But it was much closer than the score would indicate as the Packers, leading by two points, were left trying to fend off a potential comeback by Tampa Bay in the fourth quarter.

That is until Rodgers found receiver Jordy Nelson for a  game clinching 40 yard touchdown bomb with just under three minutes left in the game — his second tocuhdown catch of the contest.

Nelson finished with 123 receiving yards to go along with his pair of touchdowns.

He has now caught five touchdown passes in the last four games as his chemistry continues to improve with the Rodgers.

The Packers are the NFL’s lone undefeated team with a record of 10-0, and the prevailing thought is the Saints are the only team with the firepower to match or best their offensive output.