Saints march to yet another 400-yard game
Yards come big and easy in New Orleans.
Head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees are the NFL's biggest land barons. Since the two arrived in 2006, no team has accumulated more yards than the Saints.
New Orleans was at its offensive best Sunday night. Brees and the Saints gobbled up 495 yards in knocking off the Packers 44-23 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In doing so, they joined the Los Angeles Rams of the 1950s as the only teams to have gashed Green Bay for 400 or more yards in four straight regular-season games.
The damage Sunday was extensive. The Saints never punted. They scored on eight of 10 possessions.
In the third quarter, they converted a red-zone interception into a seven points. They then turned a questionable decision by the Packers into another touchdown.
So potent was New Orleans that it surpassed 400 yards in the third quarter. Every yard after that was gravy.
The onslaught wasn't all Brees and his receivers. Mark Ingram rushed for 172 yards to key a running game that continually kept the Packers off balance.
That New Orleans, the most productive offense of the past eight years, could put up numbers like this was no surprise. Green Bay in essence was being asked to install a governor on a well-oiled Ferrari.
For the last eight seasons, New Orleans has been without peer. It amassed 53,010 yards from 2006 through 2013 while no other team could scale 50,000.
The Saints led the league in total yards gained four times. They led in passing yards four times.
More often (65) than not (63), Payton's high-powered offense came away with 400 yards. The Patriots (62) and Eagles (52) were the only others to exceed 50.
During this span, the Packers and Saints clashed four times. New Orleans posted more than 400 yards in each of the last three meetings.
They amassed 416 yards in a 51-29 win in 2008. They gained 477 and 474 yards in close losses in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Sunday was New Orleans' opportunity for four straight. They delivered and then some.
The Saints chewed up yards in every quarter. They got 113 in the first quarter and 125 in the second.
They were most effective in the third getting 176. They marched 88 yards to a touchdown after linebacker David Hawthorne intercepted Aaron Rodgers in the red zone. They advanced 40 yards to another score after Green Bay's questionable decision to go for it on fourth-and-one late in the period.
Brees capped that drive with a 22-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. That put New Orleans up 30-16.
The play, the 50th offensive snap for the Saints, pushed them past 400 yards. It marked just the 14th time in Green Bay's history that an opponent got to that level in 50 or fewer plays.
Once upon a time, the Rams treated the Packers in this manner. They reached 400 using no more than 50 plays four times while shoving Green Bay around during the 1950s.
Los Angeles twice reeled off four straight games of more than 400 yards. The first run (1953-54) unfolded with Norm Van Brocklin as the primary triggerman in a 1,890-yard onslaught. The second (1956-58) saw Van Brocklin and then Bill Wade marshal an incredible 2,206 yards.
New Orleans didn't reach that level in its four-game run against Green Bay. Even so, the 1,862 yards it has piled up is enough to keep defensive coordinators everywhere working overtime.
The Packers have surrendered 400 or more yards in 23 of their last 56 regular-season games. They've done so 33 times since Mike McCarthy became coach in 2006.
The Jaguars are the only current team to never have gained 400 yards in a game against the Packers.
Teams that amassed 400 or more yards in three or more consecutive games against the Packers.
No. Team Year(s)
4 Rams 1953-54
4 Rams 1956-58
4 Saints 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014
3 Bears 1945-46
3 Rams 1950-51
3 Bears 1955-56
3 Colts 1959-60
3 Patriots 1973, 1979, 1985
3 Dolphins 1975, 1979, 1985