2011See also: 2011 New Orleans Saints season#Individual Records Set or Tied
In 2011, Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's 27 year-old record for most passing yards in one season (5,084) in the 15th game of the season (week 16) against the Atlanta Falcons at home in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a TD pass to Darren Sproles. Brees also set a new Saints franchise record for passing touchdowns in a season with 46.
Drew Brees began the 2011 season against the Super Bowl champs, Green Bay Packers, in a close loss, 42-34. Despite the loss, Brees posted his 7th career 400-plus passing game, with 419 yards, also throwing for 3 Touchdowns and zero interceptions, for a 112.5 passer rating. In week 2, Drew Brees defeated the Chicago Bears during the Saints's home-opener for the first time in his career as a starting quarterback, with 270 yards, 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions. With his first win over the Bears, Brees has defeated all NFL teams except the Baltimore Ravens. With the 79 yard TD pass to Devery Henderson in the 2nd quarter, Brees extended his streak of games with at least one passing TD to 29, which is 1 game behind Dan Marino and 7 behind Brett Favre, who both have 30 and 36 games with at least one TD pass thrown respectively. Johnny Unitas has the all time record with 47 straight games with a TD pass, but Brees streak is the fourth-longest in the NFL since 1950. Brees has not been held without a TD pass since Week 4 of the 2009 season, a 24-10 home win over the New York Jets. He has thrown 62 TD passes during the streak, which does not include four playoff games in which he also threw at least one TD pass. In week 3 against the Houston Texans, Brees threw 3 touchdown passes to extend his streak to 30 games with at least one passing TD, tying Dan Marino. He also completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 370 yards, completing 31 of his 44 passes in a 40-33 home win. In week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts, Brees threw 5 touchdown passes to extend his streak to 34 games with at least one passing TD. He completed 31 of his 35 passes for 325 yards and beat the Colts 62-7.
In week 12’s Monday night hosting of the NY Giants, the Saints routed the Giants 49-24 aided by Brees' stellar performance with passing for 363 yards and 4 TDs passes extending his streak to 38 games.
In a home game on 12/4/2011 against the Detroit Lions, Brees passed for 342 yards. Brees' performance gave him 4,031 yards on the season, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to eclipse the 4,000-yard mark in the first 12 games of a season, and the first quarterback to reach 4 consecutive seasons with 4000+ yards and 30+ TD passes.
In week 15 against the Minnesota Vikings, Brees threw for 412 yards with 5 passing TDs. Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5 touchdowns, 400+ yards, and a completion percentage of 80% in a game. He extended his streak of a passing touchdown to 41 consecutive games.
In week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons, on 12/26/2011 at 10:35 pm New Orleans time at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Brees broke Dan Marino's long standing record of passing yards in a year of 5,084 with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles with just under 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter of the game. Brees needed 305 yards to break the record entering the game and exceeded that mark with 307. He ended the game having thrown for 5,087 total passing yards for the regular season with 1 regular season game remaining. With his second-quarter, 8-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston, Brees extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 42 games. Marino congratulated Brees via Twitter after the game, saying "Congrats to @drewbrees. Great job by such a special player." Brees responded by tweeting, "Thanks to @DanMarino for his class and support during this run. It is an honor to attempt to follow the example he set for us all."
In week 17 against the Carolina Panthers, Brees closed out the season by setting 6 NFL records, finishing the year with 468 completions for 5,476 yards, edging Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who also surpassed Marino's record with 5,235 yards. Brees averaged 342 yards passing per game, which broke Dan Fouts' record of 320 in a strike-shortened 1982 season.
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