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Welcome to the 400/5000 Club, Mr. Brees

Our beloved Drew Brees reached a major passing milestone tonight against the Cowboys.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was rough, as Drew Brees was forced to miss a game due to a shoulder injury. His New Orleans Saints are not playing well, and it is getting more and more apparent that the twilight of his great career is here. That has still not slowed down Mr. Brees, who is among the game's greats as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. After setting numerous records at Purdue he is now getting into rarified territory for some NFL career numbers. Tonight he reached a pair of milestones:

  • In the first half of the game against Dallas Brees became just the third NFL player ever to reach 5,000 career completions. Only Brett Favre and Peyton Manning have more, with Favre at 6,300 and Manning approaching him at 6,008. Even Dan Marino, the old record holder until a few years ago, did not have 5,000, as he finished with 4,967. Tom Brady is getting there with 4,647.
  • In the second half Brees completed his 400th career touchdown pass, becoming only the fifth player to do so. In this category he is neck-and-neck with Brady, who is sitting at 401 and obviously both are still going strong. With both going strong they should pass Marino (420) later this year and have Favre (508) and Manning (535 and counting). No one else is getting to 400 TDs for awhile, either, as the next highest active players are Eli Manning (263) and Phillip Rivers (257). Okay, so Kyree Robinson ruined my narrative with a late TD run and Brees is still at 399*.
  • *Touchdown #400 was actually reached in overtime! See update below
  • If you're looking for another milestone Brees needed 3,357 yards entering tonight's game to become the fourth player to throw for 60,000 career yards. Brady, like in many areas, is just behind him at 54,370 and the trio of Marino (61,361), Manning (70,446), and Favre (71,838) are ahead.

It seems likely that Brees will pass Marino, who held all three of the major passing records at one point, before his career is done. I don't know if he will catch Manning and Favre, mostly because he will need at least 3 more full seasons after this one at a high level just to get close. Plus, Manning isn't exactly done yet, so who knows how high he will set some totals. Brady is also right with him on many milestones, and is still going strong too.

Let's not forget some other records Brees has, such as 54 straight games with a TD pass (and it would be at a nearly untouchable 94 had he not had a 0 TD, 5 pick game where a TD pass was called back on a penalty against Atlanta on 11/29/2012) and he is one yard short of the single-season passing yardage record too at 5,476 yards in 2011 (Manning had 5,477 two years later).

The nice thing is that Drew will finish as one of the all-time greats. He will be in the top four most likely in the big three passing categories, he has a Super Bowl ring, a Super Bowl MVP, and the moment he hangs up his cleats he can wait five years for a call from Canton.

UPDATE: Drew Brees hit the 400 touchdown mark with a game winning touchdown in overtime to beat the Cowboys!