In front of a frenzied crowd ready to witness quarterback Drew Brees make history, the New Orleans Saints fans got what they wanted when the legendary quarterback connected with rookie Tre'Quan Smith on a 62-yard scoring pass Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The play made Brees the NFL's passing king with 71,968 yards - 28 yards more than New Orleans native Peyton Manning - and gave the Saints a 26-13 halftime lead over the Washington Redskins.
Brees wasn't done after setting the record, as he finished the first half completing 17 of 20 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He entered the game needing just 201 yards. The game was stopped after the touchdown and the ball was presented to David Baker, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to take to Canton, Ohio. Brees was mobbed by his teammates and greeted by his family.
Saints running back Mark Ingram, playing in his first game since serving a four-game suspension, scored two touchdowns, the first on a 2-yard dive, the second a 1-yard run with 3:34 left in the half.
The Redskins answered the Saints first score with a scoring drive of their own - a 56-yard drive that ended with a 37-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal. But it was a costly drive for the Saints as star cornerback Marshon Lattimore left with a probable concussion and linebacker A.J. Klein also left the game. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins came up with a big third-down sack to force the field goal. Hopkins added a 53-yard field goal later in the second quarter and quarterback Alex Smith scored on a keeper with 26 seconds left in the half.
The Saints scored on their second possession - a 1-yard pass from Brees to tight end Josh Hill. Brees now has 498 career touchdowns, two short of becoming the fourth player to join the 500-touchdown club.
Saints stat leaders
Drew Brees, 17 of 20 for 250 yards with two TDs
Mark Ingram, eight carries for 23 yards with two TDs
Michael Thomas, two catches for 51 yards