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Saints' Brees passes Unitas to set another NFL record

By Jim Kavanagh, CNN
October 8, 2012 -- Updated 0519 GMT (1319 HKT)
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster runs for 46 yards in the first quarter against the New York Jets on Monday, October 8, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Check out the action from Week Five of the NFL, or <strong><a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/27/worldsport/gallery/nfl-week-4/index.html'>look back at the best from Week Four</a></strong>. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster runs for 46 yards in the first quarter against the New York Jets on Monday, October 8, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Check out the action from Week Five of the NFL, or look back at the best from Week Four.
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NFL Week 5: The best photos
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Drew Brees throws a touchdown pass in 48th straight game
  • Old record was set by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas in 1960
  • Brees broke Dan Marino's single-season yardage record last season

(CNN) -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter of Sunday night's game against the San Diego Chargers. That's not exactly news, because throwing touchdown passes is what Drew Brees does -- and does and does and does.

What is news is that it was the 48th consecutive game in which Brees has thrown for a TD. The accomplishment breaks the NFL record set by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts during a stretch that started in 1956 and ended in 1960, according to the league's official website.

The league eased its suspension of Saints coach Sean Payton to allow Payton to be in the Superdome to witness the event. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tweeted his regards:

"Congrats to @drewbrees & his teammates on breaking Unitas' record," Goodell said. "Amazing accomplishment by great QB & leader. We're proud of you, Drew."

Brees' streak began October 16, 2009, and who knows when it will end?

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, over those 48 games, Brees has thrown for 114 touchdowns (compared to Unitas' 102) and connected with 14 different teammates in the end zone. (Unitas had just seven targets during his streak.)

The nearest active quarterback to Brees and Unitas is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, whose current streak of touchdown-pass games stands at 37. The Green Bay Packers' Brett Favre had a 36-game streak.

Brees seems to be in the business of breaking longstanding marks. Last year he shattered Dan Marino's record for most passing yards in a season with 5,476.

SI's Peter King: 5 things about the Unitas and Brees streaks

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