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Saints Postgame Notes

Posted Jan 7, 2012

the Saints set an NFL postseason record with 626 yards Saturday night.

*With Saturday’s win, the Saints advance to an NFC Divisional Playoff matchup against the No. 2 seed San Francisco 49ers next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. CST. The Saints and 49ers have met 71 times in the regular season, but this will be their first playoff matchup.

*Saints coach Sean Payton is now 5-2 as a head coach in the postseason. Payton led the Saints into a playoff game for the seventh time Saturday night; prior to Payton’s arrival, the franchise had played a total of six playoff games.

*The Saints won their fifth consecutive home postseason game, dating back to the franchise’s first-ever playoff win in 2000.

*One week after closing out the regular season with a franchise single-game record 617 yards against Carolina, the Saints set an NFL postseason record with 626 yards Saturday night. The previous mark was 610 by San Diego vs. Boston in 1963.

*New Orleans (626) and Detroit (412) combined for 1,038 total yards, tying the NFL postseason record for yards gained by two teams in a game. Buffalo (536) and Miami (502) also combined for 1,038 in an AFC Wild Card game in 1995.

*The teams also combined for an NFL postseason record 839 net passing yards (Saints 459, Lions 380). The previous record was 809 by San Diego (415) and Miami (394) in their 1981 AFC Divisional Playoff game.

*The 34 first downs by the Saints ties an NFL postseason record. The San Diego Chargers also had 34 first downs in their classic overtime victory over Miami in the 1981 AFC Divisional Playoffs.

*The Saints and Lions combined for 56 first downs and 40 passing first downs, each of which are the third-highest total in NFL postseason history.

*The Saints’ 45 points scored tied a franchise postseason mark originally set in the 2009 NFC Divisional Playoffs vs. Arizona.

*The Saints scored 35 second-half points, tied for the second-highest total after halftime in NFL postseason history. The Chicago Bears scored 45 second-half points in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. Three other teams have scored 35 second-half points, most recently Green Bay against Arizona in a 2009 NFC Wild Card game.

*The Saints scored three rushing touchdowns in a postseason game for the first time in team history. Its previous high was two, on three occasions.

* The Saints became the seventh team in NFL history not to punt in a postseason game. The most recent was Green Bay against Atlanta in last year's NFC Divisional Playoff.

*QB Drew Brees completed 33 of 43 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns. The yardage total is a postseason career high for Brees, a Saints playoff record and the second-most in NFL postseason history. Only Cleveland’s Bernie Kosar, who passed for 489 yards against the New York Jets in the 1986 AFC Divisional Playoff, has thrown for more yards in the postseason.

*In seven career postseason games with the Saints, Brees has 16 touchdown passes and one interception. He has a streak of 215 postseason pass attempts without an interception, including 102 in the Saints’ three-game run to Super Bowl XLIV. Brees lowered his own NFL record for lowest career percentage of passes intercepted in the postseason (0.61%; 2 interceptions in 328 attempts).

*Brees improved his postseason career passer rating to 103.7, third-best in NFL history behind Aaron Rodgers (112.6) and Bart Starr (104.8). Brees entered Saturday with a career postseason passer rating of 102.0 and moved past Kurt Warner (102.8) into third.

*RB Darren Sproles scored his first two postseason touchdowns as a Saint, on a 2-yard run in the second quarter and a 17-yard run in the fourth quarter. It was Sproles’ first rushing TDs in the postseason since his 22-yard run in overtime for San Diego against Indianapolis three seasons ago.

*RB Pierre Thomas led the Saints with 66 yards rushing on eight carries, including a postseason career-long 31-yard run in the first quarter. Prior to Saturday night, Thomas’ career-long run in the playoffs was 12 yards.

*WR Devery Henderson caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Brees on the opening possession of the third quarter. Though Henderson’s last regular-season TD was in Week 2 against Chicago, he has been much more productive in the playoffs. He has a TD catch in four of the Saints’ last five postseason games over the last three seasons, only failing to score in Super Bowl XLIV.

*WR Marques Colston caught seven passes for 120 yards, a career postseason high and his first career 100-yard playoff game. In six seasons with the Saints, Colston has topped the 100-yard mark 20 times, second most in franchise history.

*Colston’s 40-yard reception in the third quarter is a career playoff long.

*WR Robert Meachem had four receptions for 111 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Prior to tonight, his previous career long postseason catch was 12 yards.

*Meachem had just one 100-yard game in the regular season – a three-catch, 119-yard effort on Dec. 4 against Detroit.

*TE Jimmy Graham’s 3-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was his first postseason TD. Graham tied a franchise record with 11 receiving touchdowns in the regular season.

*CB Jabari Greer had two interceptions in the fourth quarter to tie a franchise record for interceptions in a postseason game, matching the mark of Sammy Knight (2000 vs. St. Louis).

*In 113 career regular-season and postseason games before Saturday, Greer had never had a two-interception game.

*Greer also had four passes defensed and shared the team lead with seven tackles.

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