(USA Today) — On Monday, Drew Brees inserted himself yet again into the annals of NFL history. However, the New Orleans Saints quarterback’s unique standing might not be safe for long.
Brees broke the NFL record for career touchdown passes by an NFL player by throwing his third scoring strike of the night, and 540th overall, against the Indianapolis Colts. He eclipsed the mark previously held by former Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who retired after the 2015 season with 539 passing touchdowns.
Brees set the record on a 5-yard pass to tight end Josh Hill in the third quarter. He also connected with Michael Thomas on a 15-yard scoring strike and with Tre’Quan Smith on a 21-yard touchdown in the same quarter. Brees initially appeared to have made history on a 5-yard pass to Smith just before halftime, but the receiver was called for offensive pass interference on the play.
Hill’s reception was Brees’ 20th consecutive completion, setting a personal best.
He added to his tally with a 28-yard third-quarter touchdown to all-purpose threat Taysom Hill.
“I’m really not thinking about it,” Brees said this week of possibly breaking Manning’s record. “Just focusing on this opponent. We want to be an ascending team. We want to be playing our best at the end of the season because most of the teams that do that do the best in the playoffs.”
Brees, however, will have to fend off New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to maintain the record. Brady has 538 career passing touchdowns and could challenge Brees in the final two weeks, starting in his matchup Saturday against the Buffalo Bills.
Brees also broke Manning’s career yardage record last October and eclipsed his own all-time high for completion percentage (74.4%) last year.
The Saints offense might not be finished setting records this season, as Thomas set a franchise single-season high with his 126th reception of the year, putting him well ahead of pace to overtake former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison’s mark of 143.