Playoff record ball arrives

Playoff record ball arrives

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The New Orleans Saints' record-setting season spilled over into the playoffs. The Saints established a new NFL record by racking up a staggering 7,474 yards during the 2011 NFL regular season. The high-powered offense continued their exploits in the playoffs by setting a single-game record for most total yards in a NFL postseason game. A football from New Orleans' 45-24 win over the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Game on Jan. 7, 2012 arrived at the Hall of Fame on Monday. The Saints' record total of 626 yards bested the previous playoff mark that stood for 49 years.

Leading the way was quarterback Drew Brees who aired it out for 466 yards and 3 TDs in the win. His yardage total was the most in any regulation playoff game and second only to Bernie Kosar's 489 yards in the Cleveland Browns 23-20 overtime win over the New York Jets in the 1986 AFC Divisional Playoff. Running back Pierre Thomas was the game's leading rusher with 66 yards on the ground while wide receiver Marques Colston led all Saints' pass catchers with 120 yards on seven receptions.

  Rush Rec Total
Pierre Thomas 66 55 121
Marques Colston 0 120 120
Robert Meachem 0 111 111
Darren Sproles 51 34 85
Devery Henderson 4 64 68
Jimmy Graham 0 55 55
Chris Ivory 47 0 47
Jed Collins 0 20 20
Adrian Arrington 0 7 7
Drew Brees -1 0 -1
* Brees also sacked twice for seven yards      

The Saints' yardage total surpassed that of the San Diego Chargers who had 610 total yards in their dominating 51-10 victory over the Boston Patriots in the 1963 AFL Championship Game.

The football is just one of several pieces of memorabilia from the 2011 New Orleans Saints that has been added to the Hall of Fame's collection in recent weeks. The uniform worn by Brees when he broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage mark and the jersey worn by Darren Sproles in the season finale when he set a new record for combined net yards in a season have been donated to the Hall of Fame in the past month.

Lincoln's big day in '63 AFL championship
The Chargers' Keith Lincoln produced 329 of the then-record 610 yards of total offense for the Chargers on Jan. 5, 1964. He carried the ball just 13 times but rushed for 206 yards that included a 67-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. He added 123 yards on seven catches and even completed a 20-yard pass. The only runners with more rushing yards in a playoff game than Lincoln are Eric Dickerson (248 vs. the Cowboys in 1985) and Lamar Smith who had 209 yards for the Miami Dolphins in the 2000 AFC Wild Card Game.

From the Hall's archives: See the official play-by-play game book from the 1963 AFL Championship (PDF)>>>

See '63 AFL championship program cover>>>

Most Passing Yards, Playoff Game
489 – Bernie Kosar, Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets (1986 AFC Divisional Playoff)*
466 – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions (2011 NFC Wild Card Game)
462 – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers (2011 NFC Divisional Playoff)
458 – Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos (2004 AFC Wild Card Game)
433 – Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins (1981 AFC Divisional Playoff)*

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