Quite a night for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints - a record and a rout.
Brees set the NFL mark for yards passing in a season, breaking a record that Dan Marino had held for nearly three decades, and New Orleans clinched the NFC South title with a 45-16 victory over the Falcons on Monday night.
Brees threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns, the last a 9-yard strike to Darren Sproles that set the record with 2:51 to go.
"Honestly, I was really trying not to think about the record or anything," Brees said. "I knew we were close. A couple guys mentioned stuff to me on the sideline. I didn't want to hear it. It's like a pitcher with a no-hitter, I guess."
It was Brees' final pass of the game and it gave him 5,087 yards passing - with one game still to play. Marino finished with 5,084 yards for the Miami Dolphins in 1984.
As Sproles spiked the ball, Brees thrust his fist triumphantly in the air and started walking toward midfield while the Superdome crowd went wild and his teammates chased him down. Offensive guard Carl Nicks was the first one to get there and tried to lift Brees onto his shoulder, but couldn't do it as teammates swarmed around.
"If I could have put him on my shoulders and paraded him around the whole stadium I would have done that. He deserves it," Nicks said. "It's like a movie, man. Just a movie ending. It's beautiful. ... You could tell by everyone's reaction after he did it how much people care about that guy. We all love him."
Brees' four touchdown passes gave him 276 for his career, moving him ahead of Joe Montana (273) and Vinny Testaverde (275) for ninth all-time. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 5,000 yards twice - he had 5,069 in 2008.
Dan Marino sent the following on Twitter within minutes of his record being broken:
Here's but one example of the kind of guy Drew Brees is:
The Brees Dream Foundation was founded in 2003 with a mission to advance research in the fight against Cancer and provide care, education and opportunities for children in need.
Since its inception, the Brees Dream Foundation has committed and/or contributed more than $7,000,000 to charitable causes and academic institutions in the New Orleans, San Diego and West Lafayette/Purdue communities. The Brees Dream Foundation has had a successful 2010 so far. Some of our highlights include:
- We have almost completed $1,000,000 in funding for our renovation project at the American Cancer Society Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge in New Orleans, LA.
- The Celebrity Championship in San Diego, California was a big success raising significant funds for Rady Children’s Hospital, the Friends of Scott Foundation, the San Diego MS Society and the San Diego Armed Services YMCA (all located in the greater San Diego area).
- With the help of our friends at Purdue Federal Credit Union, we continued our funding and support for the Purdue Athletes Life Success (PALS) Camp in West Lafayette, IN.
- We once again hosted over 100 college student for a week in New Orleans, Louisiana, joining forces with Habitat for Humanity as part of our annual Rebuilding Through Brotherhood.
Please see the Programs section to learn more about the Brees Dream Foundation.
Class act indeed.
Crossposted at Wizbang.