New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) hauls in a 37-yard reception against Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby (29) and Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) during the third quarter Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Broncos won 25-23.

One player was conspicuously absent from the eye-popping numbers the New Orleans Saints put up against the Los Angeles Rams' much-lauded defense on Sunday.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks was not targeted once, marking the first time in the receiver's three-year career that he failed to catch a pass in a game.

The Los Angeles defense tried to take Cooks away and paid for it. Saints quarterback Drew Brees ripped off 28-of-36 completions for 310 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

"Part of it's a result of some of the coverages," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "There were certainly calls with his name and number on it, and periodically, once in a while, that can happen."

Cooks ranks second on the Saints this season in catches (51), yards (736) and touchdowns (6). 

With Cooks getting extra attention, Brees completed nine passes to Michael Thomas, a season-high six throws to tight end Josh Hill, five to Willie Snead and four more to Coby Fleener.

"You find out how they are going to cover you from a coverage perspective," Brees said about attacking the Rams defense. "And take advantage of the opportunities that are presented."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.