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Saints 2012 defense replaces 1981 Baltimore Colts in giving up most single-season yards

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Carolina Panthers' DeAngelo Williams (34) breaks away for a 65-heard run during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)The Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints' last-ranked defense has allowed more yards in a season than any defense in NFL history.

The Saints have allowed 287 yards in the first half of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, surpassing by 6 yards the mark of 6,793 yards allowed by the 1981 Baltimore Colts.

The mark has been set in the final game of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's first season with the club. Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who also coaches linebackers, was a third-year assistant with the '81 Colts.

Struggling to stop big plays all season, the Saints allowed DeAngelo Williams to break loose for a 65-yard run in the second quarter, which set up Mike Tolbert's touchdown.

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