New Year, New Records…

Jan 1, 2012 by

Saints LogoOK kids, it’s the last regular season rodeo and the only thing that makes it bearable is that the New Orleans Saints have work to do after today that does not involve packing up the equipment for the off-season. This will be the Saints’ third consecutive post-season which ties our run from 1990-1992. For those of you thinking the match-up against the Carolina Panthers is going to be a cakewalk, think again…

Despite coaching the Saints to a 60-34 record in six years, including four post seasons and a Superbowl Championship, Sean Payton has never won the final game of the season. And three of his five season-enders have come against Carolina. As footnotes go, losing the last game every season would be bearable if the Saints continue their post-season success, but I say just let’s end the drought now. Especially since this might just be the first time the Saints finish a season undefeated at home!

After a nightmare 2-14 season in 2010, the Panthers have improved to 6-9 under rookie QB Cam Newton but all of their wins have come against sup-par teams: Jacksonville, Washington, Indy, Tampa Bay twice and an injury-laden Houston. Still, the Panthers are on the rise and will most likely replace the Falcons as our most serious divisional threat for the next few years and Newton is the key to their success.

Newton already has a slew of records in the books including most passing yards by a QB in a debut game (422), most passing yards by a QB in first two games (854), most passing yards by a rookie in a single game (432), most passing yards by a rookie in a season (3893), first rookie QB to pass for 400+ yards in debut game, first rookie to pass for 400+ yards in consecutive games, fastest player to hit 1000 passing yards (3 games), first payer in NFL to rush for 5+ TDs and pass for 5+ TDs in five games and first player in NFL history to rush for 10 and pass for 10 TDs in a season, most rushing TDs by a QB in a single season (14 – four shy of Eric Dickerson’s 1983 rushing TD record of 18). Oh, and if with 20 passing TDs, he’s tied for third for most in a season by a rookie. One more will break that tie and drop Dan Marino to fourth place. It’s a bad year for Marino… (Note: Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton also stands at 20 with Marino and Newton.)

But enough about the competition, Saints fans have a few things to look forward to in this game as well!

The Saints are just 9 points away (502) from breaking the team record of 510 points in a season, accrued during our 2009-10 Championship run. Additionally, we’re 16 first-downs away (383) from breaking the Kansas City Chiefs 2004 NFL record of 398! The 2000 St Louis Rams currently hold the NFL record for most yards gained in a season at 7075, but the Saints are only 218 yards behind them at 6857. That toasts the previous team record of 6571 from 2008.

Darren Sproles is 162 all-purpose yards away from breaking Derrick Mason’s 2000 NFL record of 2690. (AP yds include rushing, receiving and returns.) Sproley Moley is also 119 yards shy of Michael ‘Beer Man’ Lewis’ team record of 2647 AP yards, which is also the NFL’s second place mark behind Mason.

Pierre Thomas is 83 yards away (2471) from Mario Bates’ 8th place team rushing yard total of 2554.

Jimmy Graham has had a phenomenal sophomore year and is close to some records of his own. At 1213 yards, Graham is 87 yards away from Kellen Winslow’s 1980 NFL record of 1290 receiving yards by a tight-end. He’s also close (91) to Tony Gonzalez’ 1994 NFL record of 102 receptions in a season by a TE, But New England’s Rob Gronkowski is also in the hunt with 82 catches for 1219 yards. It’s going to be close!!

Marques Colston is two TDs away form tying Eric Martin’s 7th place team scoring mark of 288 points and his 4th place team TD mark of 48.

Will Smith takes sole possession of 21st place from Fred McAfee (122) on the team’s career games played list with his 123rd game.

Thomas Morstead broke the single season touchback record this year with 62, however if ever there was a stat to look at through “reality goggles” it might be this one. The previous record was somewhere around 40, but that was broken in week 8 this season due to the NFLs ridiculous choice to move kickoffs from the 30- to the 35-yard line. But hey, a record is a record! However, Morstead is punting like a demon with a net yardage of 43.1 which, if it holds, would break Shane Lechler’s 2009 NFL record of 43.85!

And then there’s Drew Brees. Hot off breaking Dan Marino’s (5084) 1984 NFL record for passing yards, Drew should become the first quarterback to pass for 5100+ yards in the history of the NFL, and –if his season average holds– possibly the first to throw for 5400+ yards! He is just 11 completions away (440) from breaking Peyton Manning’s 2010 season completion record of 450 which would also break his own second and third place spots from 2010 (448) and 2007 (440).

–M Styborski












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