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Things To Look For on Sunday

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    <span style="">                 <span style="">PAYTON'S PLACE:</span> Since he was named head coach in 2006, the Saints have enjoyed a significant turnaround under  Sean Payton. During this period, New Orleans has  posted a 30-23 (.566) regular season record, the best  winning percentage among NFC South teams, tied for  the 11th-best in the NFL and fifth-best in the NFC.  Payton has the top all-time winning percentage for a Saints head coach. His 14-12 mark (.539) on the road is the top percentage in club history, while his 16-11 (.593) home mark is ranked second. Payton has recorded a 23-16 (.590) mark vs. NFC opponents.  

IN THE NFC SOUTH: Under Payton, the Saints have enjoyed the top record among NFC South teams since 2006:

Team
Wins   
Losses   
Winning %
New Orleans Saints   
30 23 56.6%
Carolina Panthers
29 24 54.7%
Atlanta Falcons
26
27 49.1%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers          
22
32
40.7%

SAINTS HEAD COACHES: Payton has the highest winning percentage among the 14 head coaches in Saints history:
Coach                       
Seasons        
Record       
Winning %
Sean Payton        
2006-
30-23 56.6%
Jim Mora
1988-96
96-74 55.7%
Jim Haslett
2000-05
45-51
46.9%
Bum Phillips
1981-85
27-42
39.1%
Dick Nolan
1978-80
15-29
34.1%

TURNOVER TURNAROUND: A combination of a pesky defense with emphasis on forcing takeaways, a scavenging special teams unit and attention to detail on offense has resulted in improvement for the Saints in turnover ratio. After ranking 22nd in the NFL with a -4 ratio in 2008, New Orleans is ranked first at +9 through five games, making 15 takeaways to lead the league.

2009 NFL TAKEAWAY/GIVEAWAY RATIO

Rank, Team             
Takeaways   
Giveaways   
Difference
1. New Orleans
15 6 +9
2t. Minnesota
12
4 +8
2t. Green Bay
13 5 +8
2t. New England
12
4
+8
5. Philadelphia
14
7 +7

DOMINATING OFFENSE: Since 2006, the Saints have scored an average of 27.3 points per game (1,447 points) in 53 contests, ranking third in the NFL. After leading the NFL in scoring in 2008, the Saints are on pace to repeat in 2009 as they've averaged 38.4 points per game, the highest total in the league. In their first two contests of the season, the Saints put forth 40 point outputs back to back for the first time in franchise history. These efforts made the Saints the fourth team in NFL history and the first in more than 40 years, to score at least 45 points in each of their first two games. With a trio of performances of 45 points or more, the Saints have had three of their ten highest- scoring games in club history occur in 2009. Five of the ten have occurred on Payton's watch since he arrived in 2006.

NFL POINTS PER GAME LEADERS IN 2009

Rank, Team 
Points         
Pts./Game       
1. New Orleans     
192
38.4
2. Minnesota
189
31.5
3. NY Giants
178
29.7
4. Baltimore
169
28.2
5. Indianapolis
137
27.4

YARDS AFTER THE CATCH:  Since 2006, the Saints offense has been ranked first in the NFL in yards after the catch, powered by a passing attack led by QB Drew Brees and a running back and wide receiver corps that are able to obtain additional yardage after getting the ball. During this time, RB Reggie Bush currently ranks fifth in the league with 1,593 yards after the catch following 227 receptions. After leading the NFL in YAC in 2006, the Saints returned to first place in 2008 with 2,398 yards after the catch.

MOST YARDS AFTER THE CATCH BY NFL TEAMS SINCE 2006

Rank, Team
Yards After Catch
1. New Orleans
7,143
2. Green Bay
6,653
3. New England       
6,610
4. Philadelphia
6,332
5. Arizona
6,131

WORTH NOTING AND THINGS TO LOOK FOR ON SUNDAY

  • Should the Saints beat the Dolphins on Sunday at Land Shark Stadium, it will be the second time that they have started a season 6-0. The 1991 Saints won their first seven contests. It would also mark their first six-game winning streak since the 2000 season.
  • If the Saints beat the Dolphins, their deficit in the all-time series will improve to 6-4. It would also mark their first win against them since 1995 and their first win ever in a contest played in South Florida.
  • K John Carney has 1997 career points to rank fourth all-time in NFL history. With three more points, he will become the fourth player to score 2,000. George Blanda, the NFL's third all-time leading scorer has 2,002 career points.
  • WR Marques Colston has 28 career touchdowns to tie for ninth place on the club's all-time list with TE Henry Childs. With one more score he will move into a tie for eighth with former black and gold RB Chuck Muncie.
  • LB Scott Fujita (calf-check status) could potentially make his 50th start as a Saint on Sunday.
  • With 45.5 sacks, DE Charles Grant is tied for seventh all-time with Jim Wilks in the club record books. With his next takedown, Grant will move into sole possession of seventh place on the list.
  • With 1,311 interception return yards, S Darren Sharper is ranked third all-time. With 21 return yards, Sharper would surpass Deion Sanders for second place on the all-time list.
  • TE Jeremy Shockey currently has 4,910 receiving yards, the 27th highest total by an NFL tight end. With 90 receiving yards, he would become the 27th
  • NFL tight end to crack the 5,000 yard total. Shockey has 443 receptions, the 13th highest total in NFL history by a tight end. With seven more catches, he will move into a tie for 12th place with former Saints TE Wesley Walls.
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