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Drew Brees surpasses Peyton Manning for all-time TD passes

The Saints quarterback gets No. 540 and then adds another.
Drew Brees celebrates his 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Josh Hill, which broke Peyton Manning's NFL record for career touchdown passes.
Drew Brees celebrates his 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Josh Hill, which broke Peyton Manning's NFL record for career touchdown passes. [ BUTCH DILL | AP ]
Published Dec. 17, 2019
Updated Dec. 17, 2019

NEW ORLEANS — Saints quarterback Drew Brees become the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes Monday night, breaking Peyton Manning’s record.

Brees, 40, connected with tight end Josh Hill for a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter of a 34-7 victory over the Colts. The record-setting 540th touchdown pass was his third of the game, and he added a fourth, a 28-yarder to Taysom Hill in the third quarter. Through three quarters he was 28-of-29 passing.

Brees was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater during the fourth quarter. His final numbers: 29-of-30 for 307 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, no sacks and a rating of 148.9.

After setting the record, Brees was surrounded by happy teammates, and he embraced coach Sean Payton. Brees then walked along the sideline waving and blowing kisses to the crowd, which responded with roars.

In his 19th season, Brees already owns NFL records for completions and yards in a career. He entered Monday night’s game with 6,792 completions for 72,577 yards.

Brees connected on touchdown passes of 15 yards to Michael Thomas and 21 yards to Tre’Quan Smith earlier in the game. It was his 91st regular-season game with at least three touchdown throws.

Thomas finished with 12 catches for 128 yards.

New England’s Tom Brady has 538 touchdown passes. Philip Rivers is next among active players with 395.

Brady tweeted: “Congrats Drew!! Couldn’t be more deserving. … your records will be tough to beat! But it’s worth trying.’’

If Brady also surpasses Manning this season, it will be the first time the top two leaders in career touchdown passes were active players since 1973 (Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton).

Josh Gordon suspended

The troubles that have followed Josh Gordon throughout his career continued as the Seahawks wide receiver was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating league policies on performance enhancers and substances of abuse.

Gordon was reinstated by the NFL in August after having been suspended indefinitely in December 2018, missing the final three games of last season for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Gordon signed with New England and played well in six games. But he was placed on injured reserve with knee and ankle injuries and was released in late October.

Seattle claimed him off waivers. Now Gordon’s brief stint with Seattle likely finished with 11 targets, 139 yards receiving and one incomplete pass attempt on a trick play.

Gordon spoke last week with reverence about being given another chance by Seattle and the culture he stepped into.

Jenkins to Saints

The Saints claimed Janoris Jenkins off waivers after the Giants cut the former Gator cornerback Friday. Jenkins, 31, was released due to his second use of the word “retard” on Twitter. He refused to apologize.

Grier to start?

The Panthers plan to give rookie quarterback Will Grier his first start Sunday against the Colts, according to reports. Second-year quarterback Kyle Allen has been the starter since Cam Newton was sidelined with a Lisfranc injury after a Week 2 loss to the Bucs.

Chiefs add Suggs

Kansas City claimed veteran pass rusher Terrell Suggs off waivers, filling a massive hole at defensive end after losing Alex Okafor to a torn pectoral muscle. Suggs, 37, was waived by the Cardinals last week.

Falcons lose DE

Defensive end Takk McKinley is out for the final two games of the season with a shoulder injury. Atlanta visits the Bucs on Dec. 29.