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New Orleans Saints - Atlanta Falcons notebook

Brees, Cooks and Watson have big games

With the win, New Orleans has finished the 2015 season with a 7-9 record, avoiding their first 10-loss campaign since 2005.

  • The win improves the Saints' 2015 record in NFC South division play to 3-3, avoiding their first losing season in the division since 2008.
  • New Orleans has improved their all-time deficit against the Falcons to 48-45 and have improved their record in games played at the Georgia Dome since the facility opened in 1992 to 13-11. They now own a 15-5 mark against Atlanta since Sean Payton became head coach in 2006.
  • Today's win against Atlanta has given the Saints their 14th series sweep against the Falcons.
  • Overall (regular season and postseason combined), this was Sean Payton's 93rd win as the New Orleans Saints head coach, tying him for first in club record books for wins with Jim Mora (1986-96).
  • QB Drew Brees made his 216th career start and his 158th start for the Saints, going 32-of-42 for 323 yards, one touchdown and a 105.6 passer rating. It was the 50th time in his career that he has posted at least 30 completions, extending his NFL record.
  • The win marked Brees' 100th career win (regular season and postseason combined) as a Saints quarterback.
  • Brees finishes the 2015 season going 428-of-627 for 4,870 yards, 32 touchdowns and a 101.0 passer rating, with 11 interceptions.
  • Over his first two drives, Brees was four-of-six for 72 yards, with his fourth completion marking his 400th completion of the 2015 season. He has now posted at least 400 completions for the sixth consecutive season and for the eighth time overall.
  • Today marked the 26th time that Brees has engineered a drive in the fourth quarter or overtime for a touchdown or field goal to lead the Saints to victory. His 26 game-winning drives are the fourth-most in the NFL since 2006.
  • WR Brandin Cooks recorded a five-yard catch in the first quarter, his 80th grab of the 2015 season, making him just the ninth Saint to have 80 grabs in a season.
  • Cooks caught five passes for 22 yards and finishes the 2015 season with 84 receptions for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns.
  • TE Benjamin Watson caught six passes for 59 yards and one touchdown. He finishes this season with a career-high 825 yards and a career-high-tying six touchdowns on a career-high 74 receptions.
  • On a 22-yard grab in the first quarter, Watson set a new career high for catches in a season, surpassing his 68-yard catch season as a member of the Browns in 2010.
  • In the second quarter, Watson hauled in a 13-yard touchdown, marking his sixth touchdown of the season, matching a career high he set in New England in 2007.
  • WR Willie Snead finished with 35 yards on three receptions, falling just 16 yards of 1,000 yards for the season. He finishes the year with 984 yards and three touchdowns on 69 receptions.
  • RB Travaris Cadet made a career-high-tying six receptions for a career-high 77 yards, including a team-high 36-yard catch.
  •  RB Tim Hightower rushed 6 times for 66 yards and one touchdown, his fourth score over his last four games. He added 41 yards on five receptions.
  • WR Brandon Coleman caught a career-high five passes for a career-high 81 yards.
  • DE Cameron Jordan recorded a seven-yard sack of Matt Ryan in the third quarter, giving him 10 sacks on the season. It is the second time in his career that he has posted a double-digit sack season, becoming the ninth Saint to have multiple double-digit sack seasons.
  • Together with his three sacks of Ryan coming in their Oct. 15 matchup with the Falcons and his one sack today, Jordan now has four sacks of Ryan this season. His 7.5 career sacks of Ryan are more than he has totaled against any other QB.
  • Jordan blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt by Falcons kicker Shayne Graham in the second quarter, marking New Orleans' third blocked kick of the year, with two coming against Atlanta.
  • DT John Jenkins recovered a fumble of Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, registering his first career recovered fumble. He added two tackles.
  • S Jamarca Sanford intercepted a Ryan pass with 1:47 left to go in the fourth quarter to set New Orleans up on the Falcons 25-yard line. It was his third career interception and first since he intercepted two passes on Oct. 9, 2011 against Arizona as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
  • LB David Hawthorne played in his 50th game as a Saint today, finishing with two tackles.
  • CB Brandon Browner posted a game-high eight tackles.
  • P Thomas Morstead played in his 110th career game, moving him into a tie with punter Tommy Barnhardt for 31st on the club's all-time games played list. He is also now tied with Barnhardt for the most games played by a Saints punter.
  • T Zach Strief appeared in his 140th career contest, moving him into sole possession of 17th all-time on the club's games played list, moving him ahead of defensive end Will Smith.
  • C/G Senio Kelemete made his first career start at left tackle, starting in place of an injured Terron Armstead. He is the third Saints player to make a start at left tackle this season.
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