TAMPA, Fla. - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees reached two personal milestones - which included an NFL record - in Sunday’s 26-20 loss to Tampa Bay.
Brees became the first player in NFL history to have 350 passing yards in four straight games when he threw for 383 yards. He hit on 29 of 45 passes and reached the 350-yard mark with a 12-yard pitch to wide receiver Devery Henderson with 5-1/2 minutes left in the game.
Earlier in the final quarter, Brees reached 25,000 passing yards with the Saints. In his sixth season with the club, he entered the game needing 313 yards to get to 25,000 and extend his team record. He now has 25,070 yards in 85 regular-season games with the Saints.
Brees said he was unaware he set an NFL record, which had been done seven other times, considering the defeat and the fact coach Sean Payton tore the medial collateral ligament and fractured the tibia in his left knee on their third offensive play.
“No, I don’t even know what it is and don’t really care,” he said, “because it was all about coming here and getting a victory. Everything that happened, you lose your head coach the third play of the game, your play-caller, and everybody stepped up and did such a great job to make up.”
Brees also extended two other streaks. He now has a touchdown pass in 33 straight games after throwing a 38-yarder to Marques Colston in the first quarter and has at least 20 completions in 26 games in a row, which is an NFL record.
Graham sets club mark
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham set a club record with his fourth consecutive 100-yard receiving game Sunday in the loss to the Bucs.
Graham surpassed the 100-yard mark in the third quarter and finished the game with 124 yards on seven receptions. He had 100 yards in Week 3 against Houston, 132 yards in Week 4 at Jacksonville and 129 yards last week at Carolina.
With last week’s 100-yard game, Graham tied wide Colston, who had three straight in both 2006 and ‘07.
Graham also became the first NFL tight end to have four straight 100-yard games since Tony Gonzalez did it for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000.
The Saints inactives were tackle Zach Strief (knee), tight end David Thomas (concussion), strongside linebacker Will Herring (hamstring), center/guard Matt Tennant, cornerback Johnny Patrick, defensive end Jeff Charleston, and wide receiver Adrian Arrington.
Inactives of note for the Bucs were running back LeGarrette Blount (knee), defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (ankle), wide receiver Sammie Stroughter (foot) and weakside linebacker Zac Diles (hamstring).
Brees was intercepted three times by the Bucs defense, which went into the game with just two picks in their first five games.
They equaled that in the first half, however, when free safety Tanard Jackson, who was reinstated Tuesday by the NFL following a one-year suspension, and cornerback E.J. Biggers got him on back-to-back drives late in the second quarter.
Bucs linebacker Quincy Black made it a trifecta when he picked off a pass in the end zone on fourth-and-2 at the Bucs’ 4 with 3:16 to play.
Former LSU linebacker Jacob Cutrera, who was signed on Tuesday by the Bucs, played primarily on special teams Sunday. He didn’t record a tackle Sunday.