WASHINGTON -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees set the NFL all-time passing yardage record on Monday, breaking Peyton Manning's old mark on a 62-yard touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins.
The 39-year-old passer, in his 18th NFL campaign, needed 201 yards coming into the feature contest and reached 228 yards with a touchdown throw to Tre'Quan Smith down the right sideline as cheering supporters roared in the Superdome.
The record-setting touchdown toss gave the Saints a 26-6 lead with 2:36 remaining in the second quarter of the contest and gave Brees a career total of 71,968 yards, eclipsing Manning's former mark of 71,940 after having supassed what had been the second-best career total of 71,838 yards by Brett Favre on a 75-yard touchdown drive earlier in the quarter.
"All your hard work and dedication has paid off," Manning said in a pre-taped message. "Congratulations and I'm proud of you."
After Brees connected on the record throw, he was mobbed by teammates and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the historic moment.
Brees hugged coach Sean Payton and his family on the sidelines, handed the football used on the play to a representative of the American Football Hall of Fame and then went back into the game for a two-point conversion attempt that failed.
Mark Ingram had run for touchdowns on one and two yards and Brees flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hill in addition to his record-setting touchdown pass.
Brees set the NFL all-time completions record last month with number 6,301 to break Favre's career mark.
Brees, who turns 40 in January, sparked the Saints to a 2010 Super Bowl victory, taking Most Valuable Player honors in a 31-17 triumph over Manning's Indianapolis Colts.
Dustin Hopkins kicked field goals of 37 and 53 yards for Washington, which also had a 4-yard touchdown run from Alex Smith to pull within 26-13 at half-time.
© Agence France-Presse
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