The New Orleans Saints, led by quarterback Drew Brees and wideout Michael Thomas, dismantled the Indianapolis Colts inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on a record-setting night in front of a nationally televised audience on "Monday Night Football." The Saints (11-3) need some help, but still remain in striking distance of the NFC's No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Brees entered the game needing three touchdown tosses to break Peyton Manning's (539) record and become the NFL's all-time leader. Brees (541) surpassed Manning when he connected with tight end Josh Hill on a 5-yard play-action pass with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. Brees completed 29-of-30 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns, setting the single-game NFL record for completion percentage (96.7).
"It was special - everything about tonight," Brees said. "I don't know how they pick 'em. 'Monday Night Football', we're playing the Colts, a team that we won the Super Bowl against 10 years ago. The whole Super Bowl 44 team was back for the 10th anniversary, and obviously national television. It just makes you shake your head. I never thought I would have the chance to be apart of something like this."
Thomas, who hauled in 12 completions for 128 yards and one touchdown, set the NFL record for the most 10+ catch games in a season (eight) and he broke his own team record for receptions in a season as he has 133, eight more than in 2018, with two games to play.
Running back Alvin Kamara chipped in 14 carries for 66 yards.
New Orleans dominated the time of possession, controlling the ball for 36:22 compared to the Colts' 23:38.
On the defensive side, rookie safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson got the start in place of the injured Vonn Bell. Gardner-Johnson led the team with eight tackles, including two tackles for loss. He would leave the game with a concussion in the fourth quarter and not return. Special teams also came up big for New Orleans. Saints specialist Dwayne Washington blocked a first quarter punt attempt, setting up the Saints first offensive possession at the Colts' 33-yard line.
Saints guard Larry Warford exited the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return. The Saints also lost tight end Jared Cook to injury.
The Saints travel to Nashville for a Week 16 clash with the Titans at noon Sunday.
The Colts dropped to 6-8.
For complete game stats, click here.
New Orleans Saints quarterback