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Vilma Returns, Saints edge Bucs, 35-28

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes in the Saints 35-28 win over the Buccaneers (2-4) on Sunday. 

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma took the field for the first time while appealing a season-long suspension for his role in the Saints' program.

"Most people didn't, but it was a long, drawn-out process, and for good or bad, it ended up this way and I was able to be back on the field with my teammates. That was a great feeling," said Vilma, who finished with one quarterback hit but no tackles.

Brees was happy to see his teammate back out on the field.

"You could just feel how grateful he (Vilma) was (for) just the opportunity to get out there again, but also, just the intensity," he said. "He's just one of those guys, very vocal. He obviously knows guys very well, they know him, so his ability to say certain things at the right time and just provide a lift, whether it be just his productivity on the field or making a play, or something he would say, that presence was definitely felt this week."

Pierre Thomas put the finishing touches on the game in the fourth quarter when he rushed into the endzone to give the Saints a 35-21 lead.

Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49 in the win to get the Saints to 2-4 for the season.

"We want to get on a streak here. You've got to win more than one before you're on a streak," Brees said. "So now we've got two, and we want to keep that going."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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