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Brees surpasses 5,000 yards for the third time in his career

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) congratulated tight end Jimmy Graham after Graham's touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)The Associated Press

Drew Brees has passed for more than 5,000 yards, making him the only player to do so in a season three times.

The Saints quarterback surpassed the coveted yardage mark with a touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. That was also the 41st scoring pass for the season for Brees, the only quarterback to pass for 40 TDs in consecutive seasons.

Brees is one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for 5,000 yards in a season. Dan Marino was the first in 1984. Brees was the second in 2008. In 2011, Brees, New England's Tom Brady and Detroit's Matt Stafford all hit that mark.

Brees' 5,476 yards passing in 2011 is an NFL record.

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