JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees extended his streak with at least one touchdown pass to 31 consecutive games Sunday in a 23-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After throwing for three scores in each of the first three games, Brees had only one Sunday. But a 1-yard flip to wide-open tight end Jimmy Graham in the second quarter was good enough to give Brees solo possession of third place on the NFL’s all-time list.
Brees broke a tie with Dan Marino and trails only Johnny Unitas, who had a streak of 47 straight games from 1956-60, and Brett Favre, who had at least one TD throw in 36 consecutive games from 2002-04.
Vilma, Colston back
There weren’t a lot of surprises when the Saints announced their inactives 90 minutes before Sunday’s game, but there were two positives.
Middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma and wide receiver Marques Colston, who were listed as questionable by coach Sean Payton on Friday, both played.
Vilma missed last week’s game with a knee injury, but got the start and recorded five tackles and broke up one pass.
Colston, who played for the first time since breaking his collarbone in the season opener, came in on the Saints’ ninth play from scrimmage and caught just one pass for 8 yards in a limited role.
The Saints inactives were center Olin Kreutz (knee), tackle Zach Strief (knee), tight end David Thomas (concussion), strongside linebackers Martez Wilson (shoulder) and Will Herring (hamstring), defensive end Jeff Charleston and wide receiver Adrian Arrington.
Inactives of note for the Jaguars were two starters — cornerback Derek Cox (groin) and defensive end Aaron Kampman (knee) — and wide receiver Kassim Osgood (hamstring).
Because of the injuries to Kreutz and Strief, Brian de la Puente and Charles Brown made their first NFL starts for the Saints after playing the majority of last week’s game with the Houston Texans after Kreutz and Strief were hurt.
De la Puente took Kreutz’s spot in the lineup, and Brown stepped in for Strief against the Jaguars.
The knee injury suffered by Kreutz in the win over the Texans snapped the second-longest active streak for starts among NFL centers.
Kreutz had started 137 consecutive games in a streak that dated to his days with the Chicago Bears. The last time Kreutz didn’t start was on Nov. 18, 2002, when he sat out a game against the St. Louis Rams.
Kansas City Chiefs center Casey Wiegmann, who has the longest current streak, started his 163rd game in a row Sunday against Minnesota.
For the third straight season, the NFL and NFL Players Association are supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with an initiative called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives.”
Players, coaches and sideline personnel on Sunday wore a variety of pink gear — including wristbands, cleats, gloves, towels and caps.
By the numbers
6 — Points for the Jaguars in the second half in their four games this season after being blanked by the Saints after halftime. They’ve been outscored 51-6 in the second half this season.
The 1-yard touchdown run by Saints fullback Jed Collins to cap their first possession was his first NFL rushing attempt. … It marked the first time the Saints scored on their opening series this year, pushing their record to 24-9 under Payton when they get points the first time they touch the ball. … Second-year cornerback Patrick Robinson got his first NFL interception to end a Jaguars’ march into Saints’ territory early in the third period. … Saints kicker John Kasay connected on three field goals, missing only from 53 and 50 yards. They were his first misses this season. … The Jaguars have three players with Louisiana ties on their active roster — kicker Josh Scobee and quarterback Luke McCown, a pair of former Louisiana Tech standouts, and safety Dawan Landry (Hahnville High School).