The New Orleans Saints host the Indianapolis Colts at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday, December 16, 2019.
Seven New Orleans Saints were voted to the Pro Bowl, the National Football League announced Tuesday evening. Tackle Terron Armstead, quarterback Drew Brees, returner Deonte Harris, defensive end Cameron Jordan, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, kicker Wil Lutz and wide receiver Michael Thomas were selected to the NFC squad to play in the NFL's All-Star game, which will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. All but Armstead and Brees were voted in as starters. With eight Saints named to the Pro Bowl last year and seven in 2017, this marks the first time since the 2009-2011 campaigns that the Saints have had at least seven players in three consecutive seasons named to participate in the contest. It also marks the 12th consecutive season that the club has at least one Pro Bowl selection.
Armstead, who has earned his second straight Pro Bowl honor, has opened 13-of-14 contests, with the Saints tied for having surrendered the second-fewest sacks in the NFL, tied for fifth in the NFL in scoring (27.0 points per game), ninth in net yards per game (373.3 yards per game) and seventh in passing (264.6 yards per game).
It is Brees' 13th Pro Bowl selection overall in his 19-year NFL career and his club-record 12th as a member of the Saints, who he joined in 2006. He is only the ninth player in NFL history to be named 13 times. In 2019, he has started all 11 games he has played in and completed 235-of-310 passes (75.8 percent) for 2,447 yards with 21 touchdowns, only four interceptions and a 115.3 passer rating, ranked first in the league in completion percentage and passer rating in a season in which he has become the NFL's touchdown pass leader.
Brees is coming off of his two most impressive performances of the season in back-to-back weeks. On Dec. 8 vs. San Francisco, he completed 29-of-40 passes (72.5 percent) passes for 349 yards with five touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 138.4 passer rating, also scoring on a one-yard rushing touchdown.
Brees shined on Monday night vs. Indianapolis, when he completed 29-of-30 passes for 307 yards with four touchdowns, zero picks and a 148.9 passer rating. With his third touchdown pass, he surpassed Peyton Manning with his 540th scoring throw to become the NFL's all-time leader. Brees' 96.7 completion percentage set an NFL record for a single game (minimum 20 attempts). Brees also surpassed Manning for first place in NFL record books with his 36th career game with at least four touchdowns.
Brees, a former Purdue standout, who originally entered the NFL as a second round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 2001 (32nd overall), before signing with the Saints as an unrestricted free agent in 2006, has played in 273 career games (272 starts) and has completed 6,821-of-10,093 passes (67.6 percent) for 76,884 yards, 541 touchdowns and a 98.2 passer rating. He is the NFL's all-time leader in completion percentage, completions, passing yardage, touchdown passes and has the third-highest passer rating.
Harris, who is ranked second in the NFL in punt return average (9.9) and sixth in kickoff return average (24.7), is the first Saints return specialist to be selected since Michael Lewis in 2002, the first Black and Gold rookie returner since Tyrone Hughes in 1993 and the first undrafted Saint to be selected to the league's all-star game as a rookie. In New Orleans' 33-27 win at Seattle on Sept. 22, Harris brought back a punt 53 yards for a touchdown. The Baltimore, Md., native was signed as an undrafted free agent by New Orleans out of Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., where he set the NCAA football record with 14 career return touchdowns.
This is Jordan's fifth Pro Bowl, the most selections in franchise history for a defensive end, with Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Rickey Jackson being the only player to be named more times as a Saints (six). Jordan has enjoyed another standout season, starting all 14 games and recording 48 tackles (34 solo), a career-high 13.5 sacks, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery. The former University of California standout, who was the club's first draft choice in 2011 (24th overall), is tied for third in the NFL in quarterback takedowns and on Thanksgiving night at Atlanta, tied the club single-game record with a career-high four sacks.
In nine seasons, Jordan has appeared in all 142 games with 141 starts, including opening 127 consecutive games, the longest active consecutive games started streak by an NFL defensive lineman, second for a defensive player and third in the league overall and has posted career totals of 552 tackles (345 solo), 85 sacks for losses of 577.5 yards, two interceptions, 48 passes defensed, ten forced fumbles and ten fumble recoveries. His takedown total is ranked second in club record books.
Lattimore is the first Saints cornerback to be selected to the Pro Bowl twice, having started all 12 games he's played in this season and recording 51 tackles, one interception and tying for the team lead with 13 passes defensed. Lattimore, a first round draft pick of the Saints in 2017 out of Ohio State (11th overall), is often assigned with covering an opponent's top wideout.
Lutz is only the third Saints kicker to be selected to the Pro Bowl and the first since Morten Andersen in 1992. In 2019, he is tied for the NFL lead in field goals, drilling 31-of-35 kicks and ranked second in the league with 130 points. Lutz's 31 field goals ties his career-high. He is also ranked second in the NFL with 65 touchbacks on kickoffs. He is in the midst of having made his last 16 field goals and also drilled game-winners as time expired in two contests this season, including a career-long 58-yarder, the third-longest in franchise history, to help the Saints capture the season opener over Houston.
Overall, Lutz has played in all 62 regular season games since signing with New Orleans at the start of the 2016 regular season, after originally signing with Baltimore following the NFL Draft. He has made 118-of-135 field goals (87.4 percent) to rank fourth in club record books in field goals with his 539 points ranking third in franchise history.
Thomas is only the second Saints wide receiver to be selected to Pro Bowls in three consecutive seasons. A second round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft (47th overall) out of Ohio State, Thomas has followed up a standout first three seasons with a fourth campaign where he leads the NFL in receiving and receiving yardage with a franchise-record 133 receptions for 1,552 yards with eight touchdowns. Thomas' receptions total is the fourth-highest in a single-season in NFL history and he needs 11 grabs to become the NFL's single-season receptions leader.
In four seasons, Thomas has recorded 454 grabs for 5,339 yards and 31 touchdowns. No NFL player has had as many catches as Thomas in his first four NFL seasons. He is ranked fourth in club record books in receptions and receiving yards.