EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Drew Brees is on the doorstep of history.
Brees threw for 217 yards in Sunday's 33-18 win over the New York Giants, leaving him just 201 yards short of passing Brett Favre (71,838 yards) and Peyton Manning (71,940) to become the NFL's all-time passing leader.
Barring injury or aberration, Brees will break the record in front of a packed Superdome in his next game, a Monday Night Football showdown against Washington on Oct. 8.
On the verge of history, Brees is trying to keep things as normal as possible.
"It doesn't affect my approach," Brees said. "I'm just focusing on winning the next game, whoever that opponent is. Just trying not to make a bigger deal out of this than it already is. I'm just focused on my preparation and my process, and the rest will take care of itself."
When Brees first broke into the NFL, Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino held the record, and the first preseason game for the rookie from Purdue was in Miami.
Brees remembers looking up at Marino's records and marveling at the longevity and the success it took to set those marks.
"One equals the other, right?" Brees asked. "You look at the numbers and you say, how long do you have to play in order to achieve that? Obviously, as a kid growing up, watching guys like Marino and Montana and Elway and others, those were the guys, right?"
Brees is one of those guys now, on the verge of taking over the top spot on one of the NFL's most hallowed lists.
Averaging nearly 324 yards per game this season, Brees is all but certain to break the record in front of the home fans, a date he targeted as soon as the schedule came out.
Even if he's trying not to count the record as a certainty yet.
"I hope it does," Brees said. "I hope it does, in front of our fans."