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Drew Brees Becomes NFL's All Time Passing Leader

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  • Drew Brees Becomes NFL's All Time Passing Leader

    Drew Brees passes Peyton Manning as NFL's all-time passing leader

    NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees became the NFL's all-time passing leader on Monday night, and he did it in spectacular fashion.

    Brees broke Peyton Manning's record of 71,940 career passing yards with a 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Tre'Quan Smith in the second quarter of a 43-19 rout over the Washington Redskins.

    Better yet, the New Orleans Saints' 39-year-old quarterback had one of the best performances of his 18-year career, completing 23 of 26 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. His completion percentage of 89.7 was a career best. And he did it in front of both the home crowd in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and a Monday Night Football audience.

    Manning also congratulated Brees with a video message that was both hilarious and heartfelt. He joked that he held the record for 1,000 days and they were the best 1,000 days of his life -- and "you've ruined that for me." Manning also held up a picture he and Brees took together in 2000 and said they've come a long way.

    Brees, on the other hand, now has 499 TD passes -- fourth in NFL history and one behind Tom Brady.

    Brees is the unlikeliest of all-time great quarterbacks -- just 6 feet tall, barely recruited out of high school, he fell to the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the NFL draft out of Purdue in 2001 and was doubted by most of the league when he became a free agent after a career-threatening shoulder injury in 2005.

    But that's when he came to New Orleans and his career took off. Brees and Payton have formed one of the most prolific offensive duos in NFL history over the past 13 years -- including a Super Bowl victory after the 2009 season.

    Brees also holds the NFL records for most career completions and highest completion percentage. He set the single-season passing yardage record in 2011 with 5,476 (before Manning passed him by one yard in 2013). And he has thrown for more than 5,000 yards five times over the past decade -- something no other quarterback has ever done more than once.