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The top 10 games in Saints history: No. 9

Drew Brees breaks the all-time passing record as Saints bury Washington.

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

#9 - 2018 Week 5: New Orleans Saints - 43 vs. Washington - 19

When Drew Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006, I doubt any of us thought just 12 years later he would become the all-time leading passer in the history of the NFL, but that’s just what happened on Monday Night Football in Week 5 of the 2018 season. With his family waiting on the sideline, Brees came on to the field for the Saints’ fourth drive of the night needing just 35 yards to break New Orleans native Peyton Manning’s all-time passing yardage record. The wait would not be a long one, as Brees subsequently hit Tre’Quan Smith for a 62-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive.

The touchdown put the Saints up 26-6 in what would wind up being yet another dominant prime time win in the Superdome. This game doesn’t earn marks for being a close back and forth affair, but rather a coronation of the greatest player in franchise history in what would arguably be the best season for New Orleans since their Super Bowl run.

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The game started quick for the Saints, as their first four drives of the night all ended in touchdowns. Mark Ingram II scored on two carries from the goal line and Josh Hill also caught a 1-yard touchdown pass, and then finally the 62-yard bomb to Smith from Brees to break the record. Washington was only able to manage two field goals and capitalized off a Cameron Meredith fumble to score a touchdown at the end of the half to make it a two-score game at halftime. That would be as close as the game would get however, as the Saints would score a touchdown on their first two drives of the second half to put the game out of reach.

The Saints would win 43-19 in what would be the 4th of a ten-game win streak the Saints would go on during the 2018 season, their longest since starting 13-0 in 2009. The Saints would finish 13-3 and as the #1 seed in the NFC but would ultimately get cheated out of a Super Bowl appearance in the now infamous NFC Championship Game against the Rams. Washington would go on to win four of their next five games to get to 6-3 and a two-game lead in the NFC East, but Alex Smith’s devastating knee injury in Week 11 would prove to be too much to overcome, as they only won one of their last seven games to finish the year 7-9.

Brees would go on to throw for 80,358 yards in his career and retire as the all-time leader in yards. Tom Brady would eventually break the yardage record in 2021 in slightly less spectacular fashion, as he completed a 28-yard pass to Mike Evans to break the record by 1 yard on a drive that eventually ended in a field goal. Brady would retire with 89,214 yards, 8,856 more than Brees. Brees however beats him in career yards per game with 280 per game (the most all-time among retired players) to Brady’s 266. If Brees played the same amount of games as Brady with his yards per game average he would have finished his career with roughly 93,800 yards. Still, Brees and Brady remain the only two men in the history of football to throw for over 80,000 yards, 8,400+ yards clear of Manning in 3rd place and 21,000+ clear of the next closest active player in Aaron Rodgers.

This game is demoted a bit since Brees no longer holds the all-time record and because of how this season ended for the Saints, but nonetheless it belongs on the list because it was the culmination of all the record setting seasons Brees enjoyed with Sean Payton in New Orleans.

Watch highlights of the game here.

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