NEW ORLEANS — In a game in which Drew Brees broke a 27-year-old NFL record for single-season passing yards, he and his teammates also shattered a franchise mark.
Going into Monday night’s game with the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Saints needed just 178 total yards to break the club record of 6,571 yards they set in 2008.
It didn’t take long to get there as Brees, who went on to break Dan Marino’s record of 5,084 passing yards in a season, put the Saints over the top with a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Lance Moore early in the second period.
The Saints, who went on to a 45-16 win, finished the evening with 463 yards and now have 6,857 this season. With one game to play, they have a chance to break the NFL record of 7,075 yards in a season — which was set by the St. Louis Rams in 2000.
STREAK ENDS: While it was Brees’ night, the 11-year veteran did throw two interceptions.
The first one, which came on a spectacular play by the Falcons in the second quarter, snapped a streak of 232 consecutive passes without an interception.
Brees tried to hit tight end Jimmy Graham in the back of the end zone, but linebacker Curtis Lofton had Graham covered and tipped the ball away. As he did, free safety William Moore slapped at the ball to make sure Graham didn’t have a chance to catch it and cornerback Dominique Franks got it.
Prior to that play, Brees hadn’t thrown an interception in five full games — which dated to the third quarter of a Nov. 6 game against Tampa Bay.
KASAY SETS RECORD: With his second extra point of the night, Saints kicker John Kasay broke the franchise’s single-season record for scoring with 131 points.
The 42-year-old Kasay, who was signed by the Saints in training camp when Garrett Hartley was lost for the season with a hip injury, went into the game with 129 points — one shy of the record of 130 set by John Carney in 2002.
INACTIVES: The Saints inactives were running back Mark Ingram (turf toe), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (knee), defensive end Turk McBride (ankle), cornerback Leigh Torrence, tackle William Robinson, wide receiver Adrian Arrington, and tight end Michael Higgins.
Ingram, whom coach Sean Payton hopes to have back for Sunday’s regular-season finale, and Casillas both missed their third consecutive game.
The only inactives of note for the Falcons were cornerback Kelvin Hayden (toe) and linebacker Stephen Nicholas (toe).
INJURIES: Saints wide receiver Lance Moore, who was limited in practice last week with a tight hamstring, left the game in the second half and did not return.
BY THE NUMBERS: 42 — Consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass for Brees, leaving him just five games shy of the NFL record of 47 games by Johnny Unitas. The last time Brees didn’t throw one was on Oct. 4, 2009.
LAGNIAPPE: The Saints are now 15-6 in primetime games under Payton, including a 9-2 mark on Monday Night Football. They have also won seven in a row on Monday night. … Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones with 1:31 to play in the first quarter, which was the first touchdown in the opening quarter against the Saints’ defense in 10 games. The last one was on Oct. 9 at Carolina.