A record breaking night is how the New Orleans Saints picked up their first win of the season. Quarterback Drew Brees broke an over 50-year record held by Johnny Unitas on a 40-yard touchdown strike to receiver Devery Henderson on their way to a thrilling 31-24 win over San Diego.
Brees’ score was the 48th straight game in which the quarterback has thrown at least one touchdown pass and is a record that spanned over four seasons. It was the first of four touchdown passes on the night for Brees as he connected with receiver Marques Colston three times.
The Saints with the win are now 1-4 on the season and San Diego 3-2.
It was an emotional night all the way around as Saints head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt were inside the Superdome for the record breaking night. Payton was in the Brees suite and was left alone as he watched intently throughout the game while Vitt and Loomis were in another suite together. Word around the stadium was that the NFL instructed the dome TV crew to not show Payton on the big screens. All three mean were requested to attend by Brees to be able to be a part of the record breaking night.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell approved the Brees request and on his Twitter page congratulated the Saints quarterback for his accomplishment. “Congrats to @drewbrees & his teammates on breaking Unitas’ record. Amazing accomplishment by great QB & leader. We’re proud of you, Drew.”
Brees finished the night 29 of 45 for 370 yards and was picked off once. San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers passed for 354 yards and two touchdowns to former Saints first round pick Robert Meachem.
A much maligned Saints defense actually made game changing and winning plays on Sunday night. The Chargers still gained 427 yards of total offense but the Saints defense forced two turnovers and recorded five sacks. Safety Roman Harper had an interception that set up a 25-yard Garrett Hartley field goal. The final turnover closed the book on the Chargers as defensive end Martez Wilson sacked, forced and then recovered a Rivers fumble with 14 seconds to play.
The Saints now head into the bye-week and next return to action on October 21 at Tampa Bay. Vitt still has one game left on his six game suspension and will be able to return to the team the Monday following the Bucs game.