New Orleans 45, Carolina 17
Sunday, January 1, 2012 1:00 PM
WHEN: 1:00 PM EST, Sunday, January 1, 2012
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Final Scoring Summary
The New Orleans Saints piled up the records and did all they could to improve their playoff seed with a 45-17 home win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, but still settled for the NFC's No. 3 seed when San Francisco won at St. Louis.
New Orleans will host No. 6 seed Detroit on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs.
The Saints (13-3) piled up 617 total yards – the most allowed in Panthers (6-10) history – and eight of their first nine possessions ended with points, including five touchdown passes by Drew Brees.
New Orleans broke its franchise record of 64 touchdowns in a season (2009), and passed the 2000 St. Louis Rams' record for total yardage (7,075).
Brees added to his single-season passing record (5,476) with 389 yards and added another NFL record by surpassing Peyton Manning's 450 completions in 2010.
Brees completed his last 17 passes to break his own NFL record for completion percentage in a season. He topped 300 yards passing for a seventh consecutive game and the 13th time this season, both NFL records.
He also extended his streak of games with at least one touchdown pass (43) –second all-time behind Johnny Unitas (47) – and at least 20 completions (36), another NFL record.
Brees wasn't the only New Orleans player breaking records. Darren Sproles became the all-time leader for all-purpose yards in a season, breaking Derrick Mason's record from 2000, and Jimmy Graham surpassed Kellen Winslow's record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,290 yards in 1980). Moments later, New England's Rob Gronkowski eclipsed Graham's short-lived mark.
Not to be outdone, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton passed a milestone of his own, becoming the first player in NFL history with 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in a season.
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary
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