NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees made NFL history again Monday night.
Brees broke Peyton Manning’s career touchdown record with a 5-yard pass to tight end Josh Hill midway through the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts, giving him 540 for his career.
Brady is two back at 538.
Brees tied Brady’s mark with a 15-yard pass to Michael Thomas early in the second quarter. Then, he tied Manning’s record at 539 with a 21-yard TD throw to Tre’Quan Smith midway through the second quarter. Smith has a knack for history. He also caught the 62-yard touchdown pass last season when Brees set the yardage record.
The TD record looked to be broken at the end of the first half, but a TD pass to Thomas in the closing seconds was called back due to offensive pass interference. It didn’t matter, though. At 7:08 of the third quarter — on his 20th consecutive completion of the game, the longest streak of his career — Brees found Hill for the record-breaker.
Brees remained on fire, throwing a fourth TD of the game later in the third quarter, this time a 28-yarder to Taysom Hill.
Last season, Brees, who turns 41 next month, also broke Manning’s record for career passing yards, and he entered Monday night’s game with 76,577 yards. The NFL stopped that game for the accomplishment with a brief ceremony that included his family and a representative from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This one came with less fanfare — likely because Brady could overtake the record as early as Saturday. But Brees was recognized on the scoreboard and took time to point to a section of the crowd before hugging coach Sean Payton and several players on the sideline.
Brady, meanwhile, was among many NFL players to take to social media and applaud Brees for his achievement.
Congrats drew!! Couldn’t be more deserving. Passing Peyton in anything is an incredible achievement and your records will be tough to beat! But it’s worth trying ?
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) December 17, 2019
Brees had downplayed the significance of the record this week while the Saints (10-3) are in a tight battle for the NFC’s top seeds with the Seattle Seahawks (11-3), San Francisco 49ers (11-3), Green Bay Packers (11-3) and Minnesota Vikings (10-4).
“I think, obviously, before the season, you know you are a certain distance away. But then once the season starts, you just focus on winning games and doing what I need to do as a quarterback of this team to put us in the best position to succeed and to win,” Brees said this week. “And with that, I guess the statistics come, and maybe they add up. And then all of a sudden, you’re close enough to be within striking distance of some of those things. But I’m really not thinking about it.”
Thomas, meanwhile, broke his own franchise record of 125 catches in a season, which he set last year. And he remains on pace to break Marvin Harrison’s NFL record of 143 catches in a season.
If Brees and Brady both pass Manning, it will be the first time the NFL’s top two leaders in career TD passes were active players since Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton in 1973. Since then, Tarkenton, Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Manning have held the record.
Credit: Source link