NEW ORLEANS (AP) Drew Brees more than justified his decision to continue playing despite a painful right foot injury.
Brees passed for 412 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 38-27 on Sunday.
Brees, who tore his plantar fascia ligament during a loss to Detroit last Monday, showed no ill effects of the normally challenging injury while completing 25 of 36 passes.
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Running back Tim Hightower, who missed the previous three seasons because of a knee injury and subsequent complications, consolidated his recent resurgence with 122 yards and two touchdowns rushing for New Orleans (6-9).
Brandin Cooks caught a 71-yard touchdown pass to highlight his 123 yards receiving. Newly reacquired running back Travaris Cadet had a 44-yard TD catch.
Blake Bortles passed for 368 yards and four TDs for Jacksonville (5-10), which was eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday by Houston's victory.
Bortles' TD strikes included a 90-yarder to Allen Robinson, who finished with 151 yards receiving. Allen Hurns caught eight passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Brees, who has missed only one game in the past 10 seasons, led New Orleans to points on four of the Saints' first five offensive series for a 24-0 lead, starting with his 17-yard scoring pass to tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.
The record-setting quarterback still hasn't missed a snap since his injury during the second quarter of the Saints' loss to the Lions, when he reached 4,000 yards passing in a season for an NFL-record 10th straight year.
Against Jacksonville, Brees reached 31 touchdown passes for the season, his NFL record eighth straight with at least 30.
It also was Brees' 13th career 400-yard game, tying Hall of Famer Dan Marino for second in NFL history - behind only Peyton Manning's 14 such outings.
The Saints did not practice last Tuesday or Wednesday, and Brees sat out Thursday's practice, allowing him at least three days' rest.
After Thursday's practice, Brees had virtually guaranteed he would play, saying he was confident he could be effective after several days of treatment and rest.
When asked why he wanted to play through such an injury with the Saints already eliminated from playoff contention, Brees responded: ''I want to play for my guys - bottom line.''
Brees' latest prolific outing came despite the absence of Marques Colston, who had three TDs in the past two games, but was scratched Sunday because of a chest injury.
Also sitting out was running back C.J. Spiller, whose season has fallen far short of expectations after New Orleans made him one of their prime free-agent acquisitions last offseason. Cadet replaced him in the lineup.
Bortles, meanwhile, reached 300 yards passing for the sixth time this season, tying Mark Brunell for the most such outings in a single season by a Jaguars QB.
He was 27 of 35, but was intercepted twice, once by first-year Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux and another time by lineman Bobby Richardson, who snagged a ball that had been deflected by Breaux back toward the line of scrimmage.
Hurns' production made him the second 1,000-yard receiver for Jacksonville this season, joining fellow second-year receiver Robinson.
Bortles' other TD pass was a 2-yarder to Marqise Lee.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL