Saints' quarterback Drew Brees set a new NFL record for career passing yards in Monday night's blowout win against the Redskins -- and he did it in style.
Brees hit rookie Tre'Quan Smith with a 62-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against Washington to break Peyton Manning's previous record of 71,940 yards.
Officials stopped the game and the history-making ball was handed over to Pro Football Hall of Fame officials waiting on the sideline. As the Superdome crowd gave Brees a standing ovation, he removed his helmet and hugged his wife Brittany and their four children.
Brees was wearing a microphone for broadcaster ESPN and was recorded telling teammates, family members, and head coach Sean Payton how much he loved them.
The touchdown pass gave the Saints a 26-6 lead as they sought to move into first place in the NFC South division.
The Saints won with a blowout 43-19 against the Redskins, scoring 14 points in the third quarter and 3 points in the last quarter. Washington didn't score any points in the third quarter but routed 6 points in the fourth.
Brees finished 26 of 29 for 363 yards with a total of three touchdowns, bringing New Orleans to four wins and one loss this season so far.
"I broke down and cried a bunch of times this week, just thinking about so many things," Brees said after his latest NFL-record-setting performance in a 43-19 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night. "I think about all the people who have influenced my life in such a powerful way, and there were so many of those people that were here tonight, that witnessed this, so many people that I spoke to this week that are a part of this, and so many other still that I have yet to have a chance to reach out to.
"Two of the people who had biggest influence on my football career certainly and on who I am, growing up, are my mom and my grandfather and they're in heaven. They're no longer here, but I know that they would be proud."
"Two of the people who had biggest influence on my football career certainly and on who I am, growing up, are my mom and my grandfather and they're in heaven. They're no longer here, but I know that they would be proud," Brees said.
Earlier this season, Brees broke Brett Favre's career record of 6,300 completions. Brees still needs 42 touchdown passes to surpass Manning's record of 539, something the Saints quarterback could achieve next season if he maintains his current level of play. But Brees also would have to outpace Tom Brady, who has 500 TD passes, the only active player with more than Brees in that category.
Although Brees is 39 and in his 18th NFL season, his production indicates he has a lot more left than the one season remaining on his contract.
"It's a beautiful thing, a beautiful experience for all of us," said Saint left tackle Terron Armstead, the first teammate to hug Brees after the record-setting completion to Smith. "The energy in the stadium at that time, I thought he was going to cry, really. He's a tough dude, he probably didn't want to show that side. But it was an amazing experience."
Bress is averaging 323.8 yards per game, which ranks firmly in the top 10 in the NFL. His completion rate of 75.8 percent leads the NFL, and, if sustained for the entire season, would break the record of 72 percent Brees set just last season.
Fox News' Amy Lieu and the Associated Press contributed to this report.