Drew Brees has done it! The New Orleans Saints quarterback broke the NFL record for yards passing in a season, breaking the record that Dan Marino had held for almost thirty years.
To top it all off, the Saints clinched the NFC South title with a 45-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Brees threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns, the last of which was a 9-yard pass to Darren Sproles that broke the record with 2:51 left in the game.
“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’ last throw of the game and it gave him 5,087 yards passing with one game still to play in the regular season. Marino finished with 5,084 yards for the Miami Dolphins in 1984.
Minutes after Brees broke the Marino’s record, the former Miami Dolphins QB tweeted his congratulations.
“Great job by such a special player,” Marino wrote on Twitter.
Brees responded later, tweeting, “Thanks to @DanMarino for his class and support during this run. It is an honor to attempt to follow the example he set for us all.”
As Sproles spiked the football, Brees pumped his fist into the air and strode toward midfield while the home Superdome crowd went crazy. Offensive lineman Carl Nicks was the first one to reach Brees and tried to hoist the QB up onto his shoulder, but was unable to do so as his teammates swarmed around him.
“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 TD passes on the night 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 QB in the history of the NFL to pass for more than 5,000 yards twice. He had also done so back in 2008.
Check out Drew Brees’ emotional post-game speech to his fellow teammates below.