EditorsNote: rewords third graf
Drew Brees has been in a class of his own during his 13 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, and on Monday night, he moved to the head of the NFL class.
In a 43-19 victory over the visiting Washington Redskins, Brees threw for 363 yards to surpass Peyton Manning as the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader, giving him 72,103 yards in 254 games over 18 seasons. Manning compiled his 71,940 passing yards in 266 games.
Brees completed 26 of 29 passes and threw three touchdown passes, giving him 499 for his career. He led the Saints (4-1) to touchdowns on their first four possessions to take a 26-6 first-half lead.
By the time they led 40-13 midway through the third quarter, the Saints had scored touchdowns on six of their first seven possessions, not counting a kneel-down at the end of the first half.
Brees completed 12 of his first 14 passes for 166 yards, leaving him 35 yards short of surpassing Manning’s record late in the second quarter.
Then, playing a first down at the Saints 38, Brees looked off the Redskins secondary and found rookie receiver Tre’Quan Smith alone on the right sideline for a 62-yard touchdown, giving him the passing-yardage record.
With the game stopped, Brees’ teammates rushed to midfield to mob him. Brees retrieved the ball from Smith and then handed it to David Baker, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Brees posed for pictures on the sideline with his wife, Brittany, and their four children.
Brees also connected with Smith on a 35-yard touchdown pass on the first series of the second half. Earlier in the second quarter, he found tight end Josh Hill for a 1-yard flip in the back of the end zone.
Mark Ingram II scored on runs of 2 and 1 yards, and wildcat quarterback Taysom Hill swept in for another from 1 yard out.
The Redskins (2-2) scored 13 points in the first half on field goals of 37 and 53 yards by Dustin Hopkins and a 4-yard run by Alex Smith after Washington recovered a Cameron Meredith fumble late in the first half. In four games, Washington has scored just 18 points in the second half.
Smith finished with three catches for 111 yards. Brees completed passes to nine different receivers, including one he completed one to himself on a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage.
—Field Level Media