New Orleans Saints: Top news and video clips

Open the Saints 2011 media guide to page 222 and you’ll find an eight sentence entry beneath the name Isa Abdul-Quddus. Entering Week 17, the undrafted rookie free agent from Fordham has earned a much longer entry. Abdul-Quddus (6-foot-1, 220-pound) has played in all 15 games this season, registering five defensive stops, two passes defended and 11 special teams tackles.

I’ve written many times, including earlier Thursday, that New Orleans Saints running back/return man Darren Sproles has turned out to be the best free-agent signing of 2011.

The fans have called Galette “Beast” since he arrived in 2010 as an undrafted free agent and showed preseason flashes of the sort of edge speed rush the Saints seemed to lack. He was active for four games last season, but played mostly on special teams.

In this case, Thomas was referring to records the Saints offense already has set through 15 games. New Orleans has 6,857 yards from scrimmage this season, easily eclipsing the previous club mark of 6,571 set in 2008. Thomas, who often turns screen passes into substantial gains, also helped quarterback Drew Brees throw for an NFL record 5,087 yards this season, breaking Dan Marino’s 27-year-old mark of 5,084.

After a streak of coin flip futility earlier this season, are the Saints headed for another dubious distinction? If New Orleans and San Francisco win Sunday, the Saints will become the first 13-win team not to get a first-round playoff bye since the N.F.L. adopted its current format of four divisions and six playoff teams per conference in 2002.

As much as the Saints emphasize that winning comes before setting records, players such as Pierre Thomas don’t want to diminish the value of making history.”It means a lot,” the running back said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s something that I’m always going to have to cherish for the rest of my life and say, ‘I was a part of that team when we did that.’” In this case, Thomas was referring to records the Saints offense already has set through 15 games.

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Tags: Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Darren Sproles Drew Brees Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints NFC NFC South NFL