Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints ● Sunday, January 1, 2012
Saints Postgame Team Notes
- The Saints end the 2011 season with a 13-3 record, tying a franchise record for wins in a season, and their fifth division title in franchise history (NFC West, 1991 and 2000; NFC South, 2006 and 2009).
- Sunday’s attendance of 73,065 allowed the Saints to set a single-season attendance record inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A record 584,336 fans attended Saints regular season home games this season, the most in the 37-year history of the Dome.
- With San Francisco’s victory over St. Louis, the Saints will be the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Saints will play either the Detroit Lions or the Atlanta Falcons at home next weekend.
- The Saints improved to 8-0 at home for the first time in franchise history.
- With a franchise-record 617 total yards Sunday, the Saints shattered the NFL record for yards gained in a season with 7,474. The previous NFL record of 7,075 set by the St. Louis Rams in 2000.
- The Saints also passed the 2000 Rams for the most net passing yards in a season. New Orleans finished with 5,347 net passing yards, which topped the Rams’ 5,232.
- In eight home games this season, the Saints scored 329 points (41.1 per game), the most in a season in NFL history. The previous high was 292 by the 2000 St. Louis Rams.
- With their second touchdown Sunday, this year’s Saints passed the 2009 team for the most points scored in a season in franchise history. New Orleans finished with 547 points this season, the third-highest total in NFL history (589, 2007 New England Patriots; 556, 1998 Minnesota Vikings).
- The Saints ended the season completing an NFL-record 71.3% of their passes (472 of 662). The previous mark was 70.65% by the Cincinnati Bengals in a strike-shortened 1982 season. The previous full-season mark was 70.25% by the 1994 San Francisco 49ers.
- The Saints completed 31 passes on Sunday to improve their season total to 472, breaking their own NFL record. New Orleans and Indianapolis co-held the mark of 450 completions, each from a year ago.
- With 33 first downs against the Panthers, the Saints finished with an NFL record 416 on the season. The previous record was 398 set by the 2004 Kansas City Chiefs.
- The Saints also set an NFL record for first downs passing with 280. The 1985 San Diego Chargers held the previous record of 259.
- By not committing a fumble Sunday, the Saints set an NFL record for fewest fumbles in a season with six. The previous low was seven by the 2002 Kansas City Chiefs.
- The Saints converted on six of nine third downs Sunday to improve their season rate to 118 of 208 (56.7%). The NFL does not list a record for third-down conversion percentage, but the Saints’ mark is the best in the league since at least 1991. The 2006 Indianapolis Colts had held the best mark in that span – 56.1%.
- The Saints outscored their opponents 329-143 at home this season. The point differential of 186 points (23.3 points per game) is third-highest home point differential in NFL history, behind only the 1999 Rams (+24.6) and the 1998 Vikings (+23.6).
- In addition to the aforementioned NFL records, The Saints also set several other franchise records on Sunday – touchdowns (66), points after touchdown (63), average yards per play (6.7), average yards per rush (4.9), pass attempts (662), fewest fumbles lost (5), fewest turnovers (19), punting average (46.9) and third-down conversions (118)
Saints Postgame Individual Notes
Drew Breescompleted 28 of 35 passes for 389 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. He finished with a passer rating of 140.7.
- Brees, who set the NFL single-season record for passing yards last Monday night against Atlanta, set two more single-season marks Sunday, for completions and completion percentage. Brees’ final season totals: 468 completions (an NFL record), 657 attempts, 71.2% completion percentage (NFL record), 5,476 yards (NFL record) and 46 touchdowns.
- Brees broke his own record for completion percentage (70.6, 2009) and topped Peyton Manning’s mark for completions (450, 2010).
- Sunday marked Brees’ 13th 300-yard passing game of the season, extending his own NFL record, and his seventh consecutive 300-yard game, another NFL mark. Brees has 50 games of 300 yards or more in six seasons as a Saint.
- Brees’ franchise-record 46 TD passes are the most in the NFL this season and the fourth most in NFL history (Tom Brady 50, 2007; Peyton Manning 49, 2004; Dan Marino 48, 1984).
- Brees will take a streak of 43 consecutive games with a touchdown pass, second-longest in NFL history, into the 2012 season. Johnny Unitas holds the NFL record of 47 consecutive games.
- Brees also extended his NFL-record streak of games with 20 or more completions to 35.
- Brees’ big day elevated his season passer rating to 110.6, breaking his own franchise record of 109.4 set in 2009.
Jimmy Grahamhad eight receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. He set a franchise record for receptions in a season with 99 and tied another mark with his 11th touchdown reception. The previous mark for catches was 98 by Marques Colstonin 2007. Colston, in 2007, and Joe Horn, in 2004, are the other receivers in Saints history with 11 TD catches.
- For a brief moment, Graham held the NFL record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end (1,310), before New England’s Rob Gronkowski caught a 23-yard pass in the final two minutes to up his season total to 1,327.
Darren Sproleshad 168 combined net yards (40 rushing, 29 receiving, 45 punt returns, 54 kickoff returns) Sunday to improve his season total to 2,696, an NFL single-season record. The previous mark of 2,690 was set by the Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Mason in 2000, and the second-highest total (and previous Saints franchise mark) of 2,647 was set by Michael Lewis in 2002.
- WR Marques Colston caught Brees’ first pass on Sunday to go over the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards for the fifth time in his six seasons as a Saint. Colston, who had 10 catches for 145 yards against the Panthers, ends 2011 with 80 receptions for 1,143 yards.
- Graham, Sproles and Colston all finished with 80 or more receptions.
- Colston and Graham are only the second set of teammates in franchise history to each have 1,000 or more yards receiving. In 2001, Joe Horn finished with 1,265 receiving yards and Willie Jackson 1,046.
Patrick Robinson’s second-quarter interception was his team-leading fourth of the season, two of which came off Carolina QB Cam Newton. Robinson is the seventh different Saints defender to lead or co-lead the team in interceptions since 2007.
- Rookie LB
Martez Wilson’s third-quarter sack of Newton was the first of his career.
Thomas Morsteadbroke his own franchise history for punting average at 47.9. He averaged 45.9 yards per punt a year ago.
John Kasay’s 144 points scored and 63 points after touchdown extended his own franchise records.