Darren Sproles broke the single-season record for most all-purpose yards, Jimmy Graham temporarily set the record for most receiving yards by a tight end and Drew Brees pushed his passing-yardage record to even greater heights as the New Orleans Saints beat the Carolina Panthers 45-17 on Sunday. The win, though, proved somewhat empty as the Saints were unable to move past the San Francisco 49ers, who also won, for the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
The playoff situation aside, it was a spectacular day for the Saints. Brees threw for 389 yards and five touchdowns, giving him 5,476 passing yards for the season and 46 touchdown passes. Brees had already passed Dan Marino for the single-season yardage record last week and his five touchdown passes gave him one more than Aaron Rodgers for the NFL lead. Brees' touchdown total was the fourth highest in NFL history.
Sproles' 168 all-purpose yards pushed him just beyond Derrick Mason's record that was set in 2000. Sproles also scored a touchdown in the game.
Although Graham picked up enough yards to break Kellen Winslow's single-season record, that one was short-lived. Graham picked up 97 yards to give him 1,310 for the season, but New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski finished his game with 1,327 after playing significant minutes long after the final result had been decided.
The Saints will head into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the NFC. They will host whoever ends up with the No. 6 seed.
For a complete look at the numbers, check out SB Nation's stats page. For more of a local angle, check out Saints blog Canal Street Chronicles and Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader. For all the latest scores and results, be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL hub.