Drew Brees broke the NFL record for most passing yards in a single season on Monday night and helped the Saints secure the NFC South in the process.

Brees surpassed the mark set by Dan Marino in 1984 with a 307-yard, four- touchdown performance in a 45-16 victory over the division-rival Falcons.

Marino threw for 5,084 yards in the first full season of his brilliant career, but now sits second to Brees, whose 5,087 passing yards will only be bolstered during next Sunday's season-finale against the Panthers.

Monday's preview of a potential first-round playoff matchup saw Brees connect with Darren Sproles, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Robert Meachem on touchdown passes in New Orleans' (12-3) seventh straight win.

Sproles amassed 233 all-purpose yards and caught Brees' record-breaking pass as the Saints completed a season sweep of the Falcons, who won the division last season and were on a 4-1 stretch coming in.

The Saints need a victory in Week 17 coupled with a 49ers loss to the 2-13 Rams to secure a first-round bye.

Otherwise, they could play the Falcons again in two weeks, as Atlanta (9-6) trails the Lions by one game for the No. 5 seed. Detroit, however, plays at Green Bay on Sunday, while the Falcons, who would hold the tiebreaker between the wild-card teams, close out the regular season with the Buccaneers.

Matt Ryan was an efficient 34-of-52 for 373 yards with a touchdown pass to Julio Jones, who caught eight passes for 128 yards but lost a fumble in the fourth quarter that was returned for a score by Malcolm Jenkins.