Photos taken at the Saints-Jaguars game on Oct. 2, 2011. Photos taken by Michael C. Hebert.
The New Orleans Saints will close out their 2015 home slate at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars at 3:05 p.m. on Dec. 27. Both clubs go into the contest with 5-9 records, New Orleans dropping a 35-27 decision to Detroit on Monday night and the Jaguars losing to Atlanta 23-17 at EverBank Field on Sunday. New Orleans leads the all-time series 3-2.
After trailing 28-3 in the third quarter to the Lions, New Orleans rallied in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 2820 and to 35-27 on two separate occasions, powered by three touchdown passes by QB Drew Brees to three different players and a key forced fumble and recovery by rookie LB Hau'oli Kikaha that led to a New Orleans touchdown. However, the Saints were unable to get closer both times as long runs by Lions RBs Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell put Detroit deep in New Orleans territory both times to hurt their chances of a comeback.
Brees completed 34-of-52 passes for 341 yards with three TDs and a 103.1 rating, while overcoming a nagging foot injury. He reached several milestones in prime time, including becoming only the fourth player to throw for 60,000 yards, extending his league-record stretch of seasons with 4,000 yards passing to 10 and setting a new NFL mark with his 94th career 300-yard passing game.
Leading the receivers was WR Brandin Cooks, who had 10 receptions for 124 yards with one TD. The club's 2014 first round draft pick is enjoying a standout sophomore campaign with 74 receptions for 993 yards with eight TDs, leading the club in all three categories.
Cooks and WR Willie Snead each recorded at least 10 receptions, marking the first time that the Saints have had two players post 10 catches or more since RB Deuce McAllister and WR Donté Stallworth accomplished the feat against Denver on Nov. 21, 2004.
Kikaha's forced fumble was his fourth of the season and marked the most by a Saints rookie since DE Charles Grant forced four in 2002. In addition to Kikaha's turnover, fellow rookie LB Stephone Anthony, LB Kasim Edebali and S Kenny Vaccaro produced impressive defensive performances. Anthony made six tackles and one forced fumble to raise his team-leading total to 126, surpassing LB Rickey Jackson's 125 stops in 1981 for the most tackles by a rookie in franchise history. Edebali had a career-high six stops and led the team with two sacks. Vaccaro led New Orleans with seven solo tackles and increased his career-high season total to 122.