Thursday, January 9, 2014
Saints morning report: Brees' NFL highs
By Mike Triplett
METAIRIE, La. -- Quarterback Drew Brees has broken so many NFL records during his tenure with the New Orleans Saints that we’ve become pretty numb to it. But it’s worth noting that he’s not just putting up those historic numbers in the regular season.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Brees' average of 323 passing yards per game in the playoffs is by far the most of any quarterback in NFL history with at least five postseason appearances. Kurt Warner ranks No. 2 at 304 yards. Dan Fouts is third at 303.6. Warren Moon is fourth at 287.
Brees also ranks first all-time with a completion percentage of 67.0 in the postseason (a minimum of 150 attempts).
Height doesn’t matter: Brees (6 feet tall) and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (5-foot-11) are the two shortest starting quarterbacks in the NFL today. Both are well known for having thrived despite their shorter stature. But their playoff matchup Saturday is even more rare than people might realize.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this will be the first postseason meeting between quarterbacks 6 feet tall or shorter since 1978, when the Los Angeles Rams' Pat Haden faced the Minnesota Vikings’ Fran Tarkenton.
Approaching .500: The Saints are 7-8 all-time in the playoffs, having won five of their past seven postseason games. The Saints have been flirting with .500 in recent years, but they haven’t been able to break even. They didn’t get their first playoff victory until 2000 after starting 0-4 in the 1980s and ‘90s. Then their Super Bowl run in 2009-10 brought them to 5-6. Since then, they’ve gone loss, win, loss, win.
A kicker’s chance: The 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 will be announced tonight. Former Saints kicker Morten Andersen is among the 25 semifinalists for the second year in a row. But last year, he didn’t make the cut down to 15.
Andersen, who spent the first 13 seasons of his 25-year career with the Saints, is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,544 points.
Worth a click:
In case you missed it last month, this was my detailed look back on Marshawn Lynch’s legendary “BeastQuake” run against the Saints in the 2010-11 playoffs -- both the positive and negative memories from players who were on the field that day.
WWLTV.com’s Bradley Handwerger writes that the Saints’ roster is young, but they’ve been growing up fast in recent weeks.
NewOrleansSaints.com’s John DeShazier writes about how the Saints’ secondary has stepped up this year despite a barrage of injuries.
ESPN.com’s Gregg Easterbrook tackled a lot of issues from wild-card weekend in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column this week. Among them, he applauds the NFL for treating concussions more seriously than ever -- such as in the case of Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis -- a big change from the past.
ESPN.com’s Elizabeth Merrill takes a detailed look into the swagger of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary.
ESPN anchor/Eagles fan Kevin Negandhi made good on his bet with co-worker/Saints diehard Stan Verrett.