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Drew Brees—Rating: 96.3 Yards: 5,177 TD/INT: 43/19 CMP%: 63.0
Marques Colston—Rec: 83 Yards: 1,154 TD: 10 Avg: 13.9
Lance Moore—Rec: 65 Yards: 1,041 TD: 6 Avg: 16.0
Jimmy Graham—Rec: 85 Yards: 982 TD: 9 Avg: 11.6
Our top three passing attacks begin with a unit that accomplished a great deal without their head coach all season.
I looked at the stat line for Drew Brees within the context of a team that missed the playoffs and went through such turmoil this season. It is obvious that he did everything in his power to lift this team on his shoulders and will them to victory.
From a full-team perspective, it was not enough to get them to the Promised Land, but from the perspective of these rankings, the Saints were a team that tested secondaries and challenged opposing offenses to keep the pace.
It is odd to say that a quarterback who threw for nearly 5,200 yards “took a step back” this season, but it would have been near impossible for him to match his 2011 production, especially without his head coach at the helm.
One of the more impressive aspects of the team’s 5,177 yards passing is the fact that this is a team that does like to run the ball.
The Saints’ two main running backs combined for over 1,000 yards on the ground and certainly did their part to keep teams honest—which is indicative of this offense’s all-around potential.
It is also evidenced by how many players did well receiving the ball.
Of course, this comes as no surprise with a quarterback throwing over 5,000 yards, but you have to have reliable receivers to make that happen.
I do not claim to remember everything that every player did throughout the season; therefore the research portion can occasionally yield some surprises.
I was not shocked to read the stat line of Marques Colston.
He is a favorite target for Brees and is almost expected to get 1,000 yards in a season, a mark he only missed once in his seven year career due to injury, but I was a little surprised that Lance Moore had also eclipsed this mark.
This was the first time he has eclipsed 1,000 in his seven years, but he may have emerged as a dangerous No. 2 option for Brees.
While any team would be thrilled to have two 1,000 yard receivers on their team, having Jimmy Graham at tight end almost seems to be an embarrassment of riches.
Graham was not able to match his prolific stats of a year ago, but only falling 18 yards shy of 1,000 and catching nine touchdowns is nothing to ignore.
Brees likes to get everyone involved and the fact that two wide receivers achieved 1,000 and a tight end was one or two passes away from this mark is certainly impressive.
Add to this the fact that two of the Saints running backs combined for over 1,000 yards and you have, perhaps, the most well-rounded passing attacks in the NFL.
That being the case, one thing holds this team back from the top two spots and it is something that has plagued Drew Brees throughout his career: interceptions.
In 2004, when Brees was with the Chargers, he only threw seven interceptions. Other than that, he has had nine seasons wherein he threw more than 13. In 2012, we saw the second most interceptions he’s ever thrown at 19.
This can partially be blamed on the absence of their head coach, but it has to worry New Orleans fans that this number continues to be high.