Saints Notebook: The Numbers Don't Lie

One truism in the NFL is that numbers don't lie. They may not tell the entire story, but they certainly paint the majority of the picture. New Orleans is not looking at another playoff run for 2005, at least not with all the contenders in the NFC South ahead of them. They would like to get to .500 if possible. The game against the Patriots represents an opportunity to do so.

--The Saints are 8-8 in their first game back following a bye since the NFL started adding open dates to the schedule in 1990.

Under current coach Jim Haslett, the Saints are 3-2 after the bye week. They dropped a 43-17 decision to the San Diego Chargers following the bye last season.

--Cornerback Fakhir Brown returned to practice Monday after being arrested for driving while under the influence on the morning of Nov. 9, just hours before the Saints' final practice prior to their bye week.

A six-year NFL veteran, Brown said he was disappointed about the incident but had no further comment.

Brown was the second player to be arrested for DWI in San Antonio in the last two-plus weeks. Middle linebacker Courtney Watson was cited on Oct. 25 for a similar violation.

--The 20-17 loss to the Chicago Bears on Nov. 6, the Saints' last game before their bye, dropped Jim Haslett's overall record to 45-46.

He's below .500 for the first time since the Saints went 2-3 to start the 2000 season, his first in New Orleans. Haslett has a 44-45 regular-season record in five-plus seasons and is 1-1 in postseason play.

--The Saints' current five-game losing streak is the longest for the franchise since the 1999 club dropped seven in a row.

That was the final season for Mike Ditka, who was fired three days after the season finale by owner Tom Benson.

--The Saints are 2-7 for the ninth time in the 39-year history of the franchise.

They were also 2-7 after nine games in 1969, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1996, 1997 and 1999. The most wins they finished with was six in 1997, although the 1969 team eventually won five times in a 14-game schedule.

BY THE NUMBERS: 29 - Consecutive games with a completion of at least 25 yards by quarterback Aaron Brooks, currently the longest streak in the NFL. Brooks extended the streak with a 42-yard throw to Nate Poole in the Saints' most recent game on Nov. 6 against Chicago.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everybody needs to work on their own job and look in the mirror - offensive line, receivers, the backfield - everyone here has an obligation to do that. This is a new start, and I'm not going to worry about our record. I'm going to worry about the guy I line up against." - Wide receiver Joe Horn on the Saints' final seven games after the bye.


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