More importantly, the Saints also kept pace in the race for the No. 2 seed with the 49ers (10-3), who face the Steelers on Monday Night Football.
Once the Saints got past early mistakes, they dominated the Vikings (2-12).
Brees completed 32-of-40 passes to help the Saints stay two games ahead of the Falcons in the NFC South.
Brees threw for two touchdowns to Lance Moore and one each to Darren Sproles, John Gilmore and Jimmy Graham.
"All these games are important and I was particularly pleased with how we played in the second half, "said Saints coach Sean Payton. "We eliminated some of the things that were hurting us in the first. We had two turnovers that led to points for Minnesota. The penalties hurt, but we cleaned those things up."
Nothing is safe when Brees is this hot and here's how the AP saw the game: "Not Dan Marino's single-season passing record, not Aaron Rodgers' presumed MVP award, and perhaps not even the label for the best team in the NFC."
Here are post-game notes from NewOrleansSaints.com
Saints Postgame Notes
• Improving to 11-3, New Orleans now has 11 wins for three consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.
• A win gives the Saints a 5-3 road record, the first time in franchise history they have had winning seasons away from home in three consecutive campaigns.
• New Orleans is now half-a-game ahead of San Francisco, who hosts Pittsburgh tomorrow evening for the race for the second seed in the NFC playoff race, which would guarantee a first-round bye.
• New Orleans had 573 total net yards in the contest, the second-highest total behind 577 vs. the New York Giants on November 28 and their fourth 500-yard performance of the season.
• New Orleans converted 8-of-11 (73%) attempts on third down.
• With TE Jimmy Graham ’s first quarter fumble, New Orleans had a streak broken of four consecutive games without a turnover.
• QB Drew Brees completed 32 of 40 passes for 412 yards and five touchdowns. He finished with a season-high passer rating of 149.6.
• Brees has passed for 4,780 yards this season, the most passing yards through 14 regular season contests in NFL history. Brees needs 305 passing yards to surpass Dan Marino for the NFL’s single-season passing record (5,084).
• Brees upped his season touchdown pass total to 37, setting a new team record and career-high.
• Brees now has 11 300-yard passing games, eclipsing the NFL record he (2008, 2011) and Oakland’s Rich Gannon (2002) already shared. He now has ten games with a passer rating of 100 or better this season. In his six years with the Saints, Brees has 47 300-yard games and 46 games with a passer rating of 100+.
• Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in 41 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in NFL history. Johnny Unitas holds the NFL record of 47.
• It was the seventh 400-yard passing performance of Brees’ career, all occurring as a Saint, tied with Joe Montana andWarren Moon for third in NFL record books. The passing yardage total was the eighth-highest single-game total in New Orleans record books. Brees has seven of the club’s eight 400-yard passing performances.
• Brees also extended his NFL-record streak of games with 20 or more completions to 34.
• WR Marques Colston caught a club-best eight passes for 91 yards, tying for the team lead in receiving yardage with WRLance Moore
• WR Lance Moore had five receptions for 91 yards with two touchdowns to tie for the team led with Colston in yardage.
• RB Chris Ivory was the club’s primary ballcarrier and carried 18 times for 74 yards
• RB Darren Sproles compiled 232 all-purpose ayrds.
• TE Jimmy Graham caught seven passes for 70 yards, including a second quarter one-yard touchdown reception. It was Graham’s ninth touchdown reception of the season, tying him for the most by a Saints tight end with Henry Childs (1977.)
• The New Orleans defense held the Vikings to only 207 yards, including only 102 net yards passing.
by Ed Staton