In what wasn’t exactly a surprise, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was chosen Tuesday as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Brees was selected less than 24 hours after throwing four touchdown passes and running for another score in leading a 49-24 nationally televised shellacking of the New York Giants on Monday night.
The 11-year veteran reached the 300-yard mark in passing for the eighth time in 11 games this season. He completed 24 of 38 passes for 363 yards. Eight of his completions went for 20 yards or more, with a long of 50 yards to wide receiver Marques Colston.
Brees, who didn’t throw an interception for the second straight game and was not sacked for the third consecutive contest, finished the night with a passer rating of 129.6.
It is Brees’ 12th NFC player of the week award in five-plus seasons with the Saints, and his second this season. He was also honored after throwing five touchdown passes in a 62-7 beating of the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7.
In addition to his NFC honor, Brees is listed as one of three candidates for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week award along with New England’s Tom Brady and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.
The award, along with the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week award, is decided by a fan vote via the Internet. Voting at http://www.NFL.com/FedEx will continue until 2 p.m. Friday with the winner announced that night.
The candidates for the ground award are Arizona’s Beanie Wells, Tennessee’s Chris Johnson and Cincinnati’s Cedric Benson.
After rookie running back Mark Ingram’s 35-yard touchdown run with 1:02 to play in the game, the Saints came close to breaking the club record for total offense in a single game.
The Saints’ 577 total yards were the second-highest in club history as they came up 18 yards shy of matching the record of 595 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 19, 2006. They lost that one, however, 31-16.
The 577 yards on Monday night was the second-highest total ever allowed by the Giants and the most they have given up in 68 years. They were pounded for 682 yards by the Chicago Bears back on Nov. 14, 1943.
The Saints did not turn the ball over for a second straight game against the Giants and have been turnover-free for the past nine quarters of play.
The last giveaway came on the first drive of the second half of a 27-16 win over the Tampa Bay Bucs on Nov. 6 when Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber picked off a Brees pass.
The Saints are 18-0 in the regular season under coach Sean Payton when they have no turnovers.
The Giants, on the other hand, had their NFL-long streak of 23 consecutive games with at least one takeaway end. The last time they came up empty was on Sept. 26, 2010, against the Tennessee Titans.
November to remember
In completing a third straight unbeaten November, with an 11th consecutive victory in that month, the Saints also have posted the best November record in the NFL since 2008 with a 13-2 mark in that four-year span.
The Saints’ last loss in that month came on Nov. 30, 2008, when they dropped a 23-20 decision at Tampa Bay.
The Saints set an attendance record for the third time in five home games this season when 73,068 fans were crammed into the newly remodeled Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
With 3,000 new seats in the building, the Saints easily topped the old regular-season mark of 70,940 in Week 2 against Chicago (73,019) and bettered that in Week 9 against Tampa Bay (73,043).
Getting the flip
For the first time this season, the Saints won a coin toss against the Giants, who, as the visiting team, actually made the call.
The Saints had lost each of the coin tosses at the start of their first 10 games and also came up empty in an overtime flip at Atlanta in Week 10.