It was the 48th straight game in which Brees completed a touchdown pass, breaking the old mark of 47 set by Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts between 1956 and 1960. The record-breaking play came with 3:05 to go in the first quarter when Brees threw the ball 40 yards to Devery Henderson to set the new mark.
After the play, Brees ran down to the end zone and hugged Henderson while the rest of the team’s offense joined in on the celebration as the crowd cheered. Brees then took the football to the sideline to keep as a souvenir. Three of New Orleans’ suspended officials were allowed by the NFL to attend the game
These were assistant coach Joe Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis, and Sean Payton, the team’s head coach, who were all suspended for their roles in the recent bounty-gate scandal. Brees had asked the league permission for them to attend and the league granted his wish. Joe Unitas, the son of Johnny was also on hand to see his father’s record broken.
Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, congratulated Brees on his Twitter account after the touchdown. Brees then extended the record when he threw another touchdown pass before the first half was over and finished with four on the night. What was lost in all the fanfare was the fact that the Saints earned a much-needed victory, their first of the season.
Brees said he couldn’t have dreamed a better script as he was able to set a new record while the team played well and won. He thanked his teammates and said the win was the result of a complete effort by the entire team. Three of Brees’ touchdown passes were caught by receiver Marques Colston, who set a franchise record in the game with his 52nd touchdown catch.
The record was formerly held by Joe Horn and set in 2006. Brees passed for a total of 370 yards in the game, which gave him more than 30,000 passing yards. It was also his 100th game as a member of the Saints. Colston had 131 yards on the night with nine catches and Henderson had 123 yards on eight catches.
The New Orleans’ defense, which was ranked as the worst in the NFL heading into the game, played a big part in the win. They had five sacks and forced San Diego into several costly turnovers.
Aaron Kromer, who is taking over the head coaching duties on an interim basis while Payton sits out his season-long suspension, said Brees obviously had a great game, but the team’s defense also deserves a lot of credit for pressuring the Chargers’ quarterback. It’s expected that Vitt will take over the head coaching role from Kromer once his six-game ban has ended.