For 48 consecutive NFL games, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown for at least one touchdown, and a long-standing record has fallen as a result. Devery Henderson was on the receiving end of the historic 40-yard strike in the second quarter of New Orleans' Sunday Night Football tilt with the San Diego Chargers.
For over half a century, Johnny Unitas was the standard bearer in this category. The legend threw a touchdown pass in 47 straight games from 1956 to 1960. Like so many other great QBs, Unitas will now take a backseat to Brees in the record books.
The decorated Saints QB adds this accomplishment to an already impressive pile of records. He has now set NFL records for passing yards in a season, completions and completion percentage in a season, games with more than 300 yards in a single season and consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards.
While the length of the streaks were similar, the production during the streaks has not been. Brees has been far more prolific than Unitas was during their respective streaks.
USA Today's Jarrett Bell passed along this comparison after Brees tied the mark last week.
Unitas passed for 10,645 yards and 102 TDs during his 47-game streak.
Brees has tallied more than 14,000 yards and the pass to Colston was his 112th TD pass in 47 games.
Brees is currently enjoying a prolonged stretch of play that is producing the kind of production that just 10 years ago seemed unfathomable. This record is the latest testament to that.
While this record affirms the outstanding consistency and talent of Brees, it should also serve as a stark reminder of the greatness of Unitas.
The Baltimore Colts legend played in a far less aerial era. In the years where he did the bulk of his damage in the streak, 1957-60, he led the league in touchdown passes each year. He did so one year with 19 touchdown passes. Fourteen quarterbacks threw more touchdown passes than that last season.
But this is Brees' day, and there is no telling how long he can keep this streak going, which began in 2009. Even though the Saints are struggling this year, there are no signs that this streak is about to come to an end.
The consistency needed to set this record is astounding. My hat goes off to both Mr. Unitas and Mr. Brees.