Whatever playoff hopes the New Orleans Saints were clinging to were buried in a Thursday night loss to the Atlanta Falcons. That wasn't the only thing that ended in prime time. Quarterback Drew Brees' touchdown streak came to end thanks in large part to a determined Falcons defense that picked him off five times.
Brees holds the NFL record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass at 54. He surpassed the great Johnny Unitas in an Oct. 7 loss to the Denver Broncos. The record was just 47 games at the time.
Brees almost had it to 55 games in a row late in the second quarter. He connected with Darren Sproles for a touchdown pass that would have pulled the Saints within three points at the half. Instead, tight end Jimmy Graham drew a penalty for offensive pass interference that negated the touchdown. New Orleans tried to get in back, but the clock ended up causing Brees as much trouble as the Falcons defense that picked him off five times.
The five interceptions are a new career high for Brees. He had another interception that was nixed by a Falcons penalty in the fourth quarter. Brees has thrown four picks in a game twice in his career, prior to this outing. Only one other Saints quarterback has thrown five picks in a game: Archie Manning.
The Saints quarterback finished the game 28 for 50 with 341 yards and five interceptions. He had a 37.6 quarterback rating.
New Orleans drops to 5-7 on the season and has a road game against the New York Giants next week.
Brees' record may stand for awhile; 11 games, at least. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 11 games away from tying the record.