‘Ats-a Spicy Meata-Ball!

Dec 15, 2013 by

Saints LogoNo, I have no idea what that title has to do with the Saints…

Last Episode…
Now that’s more like it!

Saints 18 – 362 yards: 275 passing, 87 rushing
Actual 31 – 382 yards: 313 passing, 69 rushing

Seahawks 17 – 343 yards: 222 passing, 121 rushing
Actual 13 – 288 yards: 160 passing, 128 rushing

Interesting. Close on all but Panther passing and the Saints score. And really, who saw that coming? And at one point it looked as if my WAG score of 42-10 was going to be spot on. Perhaps in future I shall have to calculate the yards and pull the scores out of my… but let’s move on!

Week 15
The 10-3 Saints trail the 5-8 St Louis Rams in the series 31-39. At 70 games it’s the Saints third-longest rivalry after the Falcons (89 games) and Niners (73 games) and dates back to 1967. The NFL broke up the NFC West in 2002 (we were there, I suppose, because the stadium sat west of the Mississippi River… sort of… ) and the Rams have not been on our radar often since then; only 6 times in the last 12 seasons. Clan Payton is 2-2 against them, 1-1 in their house.

The Rams are on a huge roller-coaster this season with bigger dips than crests. For those of you who like mathematical brain games, it looks like this:

W-L-L-L-W-W-L-L-L-W-W-L-L …

Can you spot the pattern? Can you predivt the next outcome? I thought you could!

Sure, it looks like a trap game but I don’t think so this time! While the intensity levels will be lower this week I think the Saints take an early lead, put it away in the third and then gear-jam it down to a safe speed for the last twenty minutes. Unfortunately, this is usually how we lose games but I don’t think the Rams will have steam enough for a comeback. I’m not even gonna WAG this one. (But if I did it would be Saints 34-21!) The Machine remains e’er conservative:

Saints 22 – 392 yards: 292 passing, 100 rushing
Rams 18 – 335 yards: 222 passing, 113 rushing

Department of Trivia:
This is the Saints fifth stop at 10-3; twice under Jim Mora (1987, 1992), thrice under Sean Payton (2010, 2011, 2013). Today we take our fourth shot at 11-3 (1987, 1992, 2011).

Department of Whoah!:
Drew Brees will play his 125th game as a Saint and is just 321 passing yards away from his 38,000th franchise passing yard! Last week Drew became only the fifth player in NFL history to crack 50,000 passing yards and these numbers got me thinking… who has the most passing yards with one team? Strangely, I couldn’t actually find a list like this anywhere so I went and mined the data personally for you!

Overall Drew Brees only ranks in eighth place after some very, very impressive names. Except, there are some interesting numbers hidden inside the data. Everyone on the list has at least 14 seasons with one team except for Drew; this is his eighth season as a Saint! No one on the list has less than 181 games except for Drew; he’s played only 124 as a Saint!

Let that sink in a moment. In less than eight years as a Saint, Drew Brees is threatening the last seven greatest quarterbacks who have ever played the game! And if you average the yards per season and per game, Brees ranks first both times! Threatening? No, dominating! Pull these numbers out the next time someone mouths off about Brady and Manning!

single-team rank, player – yards (team, seasons, avg/sea – rank; games, avg/gm – rank)
1 B Favre – 61,655 (GB, 16s, 3853/s – 3rd; 255g, 242/g – 5th)
2 D Marino – 61,361 (MIA, 17s, 3609/s – 4th; 242g, 254/g – 4th)
3 P Manning – 54,828 (IND, 14s, 3916/s – 2nd; 208g 264/g – 2nd)
4 J Elway – 51,475 (DEN, 16s, 3217/s – 6th; 234g, 220/g – 7th)
5 T Brady – 48,491 (NE, 14s, 3464/s – 5th; 190g, 255/g – 3rd)
6 D Fouts – 43,040 (SD, 15s, 2869/s – 7th; 181g, 238/g – 6th)
7 J Unitas – 39,768 (BAL, 17s, 2339/s – 8th; 211g, 188/g – 8th)
8 D Brees – 37,679 (NO, 8s, 4708/s – 1st; 124g, 304/g – 1st)

Department of Statistical Frippery:
Garrett Hartley extended his franchise record for PATs without a miss or block to 143.

Jimmy Graham (236-11th) broke past Pierre Thomas (222), Danny Abramowicz (222) and Lance Moore (232) on the franchise points list. Graham (39-6th) also passed Thomas (37), Abramowicz (37) and Moore (38) on the franchise TD list. Graham (292-7th) is 2 receptions away from Reggie Bush (294) on the franchise reception list. Graham (39) also moves into fifth place  past Moore and Abramowicz (37 each) on the franchise TD reception list!

Marques Colston (8115-1st) passed 8000 receiving yards!

Darren Sproles (1895-22nd) swapped places with Bob Newland (1877) on the franchise receiving yards list.

Kenny Stills (495-71st) jumped ahead of Wesley Carroll (476), Eric Guliford (486), Craig Heyward (488) and Az-Zahir Hakim (489) on the franchise receiving yards list.

Drew Brees is 321 passing yards away from his 38,000th franchise passing yard as a Saint. At 37,679 yards, he’s 15,945 yards beyond Archie Manning’s 21,374.

Robert Meachem (16-107th) passed Jake Delhomme (15) on the franchise rushing attempt list!

Khiry Robinson (35-77th) passed Virgil Robinson (34) and tied Lynell Hamliton on the franchise rushing attempt list!

Mark Ingram (339-19th) passed Alvin Maxson (338) on the franchise rushing attempt list and needs just two attempts to pass Aaron Brooks (340). Ingram (1355-18th) also passed Ray Zellars (1351) on the franchise rushing yards list and sits three yards away from Hokie Gaijan (1358).

Pierre Thomas (269-10th) passed Hoby Brenner on the franchise reception list.

Sack Race Dept:
Cameron Jordan (19.5-17th) dropped Cam Newton twice and passed Keith Mitchell (18.5). Junior Galette (18.5-18th) put the bag on Newton thrice moving ahead of Roman Harper (17.5) and tying Mitchell. Jordan leads Galette 11.5 to 9 on the season! With three games left both have a chance to make the franchise top five in sacks in a single season. The targets are Rickey Jackson (1992, 13.5-5th), Charlie Clemmons (2001, 13.5-5th), Wayne Martin (1992, 15.5-4th), Pat Swilling (1989, 16.5-3rd), Pat Swilling (1991, 17-1st) and La’Roi Glover (2000, 17-1st).

Career Watch:
Drew Brees (6668-8th) is just 33 career passing attempts behind Vinnie Testaverde (6701) and 49 behind Drew Bledsoe (6717). Vinnie should fall this week and Bledsoe next week. Brees (357-4th) passed Tom Brady (355) once again last week on the career passing TD list.

Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, Drew Brees (50,026-5th) became only the fifth player in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards; the fastest player to do so (183 games)! Brees next level is John Elway (51,475-4th) but with three games left those 1449 yards are going to be tough! Next season looks more likely for this, but hey… anything can happen!

-M Styborski

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