Saints’ Colston sets franchise record for career receptions

Needing just one catch to become the franchise all-time leader in receptions, Saints wide receiver Marques Colston broke the mark in style in Sunday’s 23-17 win against the Atlanta Falcons.

Colston’s first catch of the game, a 25-yard touchdown grab from Drew Brees with 9:10 to play in the second quarter, was the 533rd of his eight-year career. The catch helped him snap a tie with Eric Martin, who played for the Saints from 1985-93.

“It feels pretty good,” the soft-spoken Colston said after the game. “(Saints coach) Sean (Payton) talked about it all week, but he told me it would only be special if we got the win. It was great to get a team victory.”

BREES’ MILESTONES: Brees had two scoring passes — the first to Colston and the second to tight end Jimmy Graham in the third quarter — giving him 100 multiple-touchdown games in his 13-year career.

He became the sixth player to reach 100 with Brett Favre the leader at 159.

With 357 passing yards against the Falcons, Brees now has 46,276 yards in his career. He vaulted past Vinny Testaverde and into seventh place on the league’s all-time list, then extended his NFL record streak of at least 20 completions in a game to 53.

WILSON SITS OUT: Saints outside linebacker Martez Wilson was a surprise inactive Sunday.

Wilson dislocated his left elbow in practice on July 29, but returned in late August. He was expected to start at outside linebacker after the Saints lost projected starters Will Smith and Victor Butler to knee injuries.

After having full participation in practice for three straight days, Wilson was listed as probable for the game.

INACTIVES: The Saints’ inactives were Wilson, S Isa Abdul-Quddus (ankle), DE Glenn Foster (ankle), WR Robert Meachem, WR Andy Tanner, T Terron Armstead and RB Khiry Robinson.

The only inactives of note for the Falcons were CB Asante Samuel (thigh) and T Jeremy Trueblood, who was just signed last week.

INJURIES: For the Saints, defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley and defensive end Tyrunn Walker suffered lower leg injuries and did not return. Cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Patrick Robinson also left with undisclosed injuries, but Lewis returned in the second half.

CAPTAINS ELECTED: The permanent captains elected by the Saints for the 2013 season are Brees and tackle Zach Strief (offense), linebacker Curtis Lofton and safety Malcolm Jenkins (defense), and linebacker Will Herring (special teams).

BY THE NUMBERS: 17-30 — The Saints’ record in their 47 seasons openers, including a 5-2 mark under Sean Payton.

ROMIG HONORED: Long-time PA announcer Jerry Romig, who retired last month after 44 years of calling games in old Tulane Stadium and the Superdome, was honored by the organization prior to the game.

A video tribute was played on the stadium screens while Romig, who worked 446 consecutive Saints games, and wife Janice stood at midfield. The scoreboards had a picture of Romig, which was accompanied by the words, “Thank You, Jerry.”

LAGNIAPPE: Saints rookie wide receiver Kenny Stills’ first NFL catch went for 67 yards. … Former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason, who is battling ALS, started the “Who Dat!” chant before the game with the help of close friend and former teammate Scott Fujita. … Strong safety Roman Harper played in his 100th regular-season game, the 49th player in Saints’ history to reach that milestone. … Nineteen of the 53 players on the Saints’ roster were not on the team for last year’s opener.