With his third touchdown pass on Monday night against the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time touchdown king. Breaking Peyton Manning’s all-time record of 539 touchdown passes, Brees reached 540 with a five-yard strike to Josh Hill in the third quarter.
The excitement built as Brees connected with Michael Thomas in the second quarter to put the Saints up 10-0.
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Two more TDs to go…
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/SeN0sEfFQd
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 17, 2019
Then Brees tossed his second touchdown of the game in the second quarter, finding Tre’Quan Smith to tie Payton Manning with 539 touchdowns.
On this throw, @drewbrees ties Peyton Manning for 1st in all-time passing touchdowns #Saints
: #INDvsNO on ESPN
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/sWmUbeqQpzpic.twitter.com/movZLz4rev
— NFL (@NFL) December 17, 2019
Just before halftime, it looked like Brees was going to have his moment. But wouldn’t you know it? His record-breaking touchdown was wiped out by offensive pass interference, of all things.
Finally, Brees passed Manning, moving into first on the all-time touchdown list with 540.
Tom Brady sending message with ‘whole team about to figure it out’ quote?
5️⃣4️⃣0️⃣@drewbrees is the all-time leader in passing touchdowns! #Saints
: #INDvsNO on ESPN
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/sWmUbeqQpzpic.twitter.com/U04iyNHtRx
— NFL (@NFL) December 17, 2019
Brees, 38, has talked about playing well into his 40s, so by the time he’s finished this record will be even more ridiculous.
Heck, he already holds NFL records for career completions, passing yards, completion percentage and is bearing down on Brett Favre’s record for most passing attempts in a career.
Even if he never threw another pass, Brees is an all-time legend.
After he became the new NFL record holder for most career touchdown passes, Brees received high praise from the NFL community.
Drew Brees' play is the type of performance where if you're at home, in the stands or in a bar, you grab a beer, some chicken wings, popcorn, put your feet up and give credit where credit is due. He's putting on a show, 27-of-28 for 281 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Brees is a long-haired dishwasher for 'Undercover Boss'
Drew Brees will soon be on a television screen near you for reasons having nothing to do with football.The show, which is set to air on Jan. 8, will feature Brees going undercover as a dishwasher at his Louisiana-based sports bar, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux. Now here’s the best part, as John Hendrix of SI.com obtained some early images of Brees as a long-haired dishwasher with a full beard.
— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) December 17, 2019
Brees breaks the record in the most Drew Brees way possible on his 20 straight completion
— Kevin A Molina (@KevinAMolina) December 17, 2019
I admire and love @drewbrees for a lot of things…but the way he loves his family is far and away at the top of the list #MondayNightFootball#Saints
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) December 17, 2019
— Willie Snead IV (@Willie_Snead4G) December 17, 2019
Truly enjoying this Drew Brees demonstration right now… pic.twitter.com/4SfkTY8rom
— JoelDreessen (@JoelDreessen) December 17, 2019
this man drew brees is freaking incredible! true professional true GOAT! but hey #KEEPPOUNDING all day tho! pic.twitter.com/OhR5WwI6I7
— Jonathan Stewart (@Jonathanstewar1) December 17, 2019
Congrats @drewbrees You Are The GOAT
— Willie Snead IV (@Willie_Snead4G) December 17, 2019
Congrats Drew Brees. Phew, 540 is whole lotta touchdowns
— Justin Reid (@jreid_viii) December 17, 2019
Related slideshow: The best NFL player from every year (Provided by Yardbarker)
Professional football launched in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA), which became the NFL two years later. Entering the 100th season of the league, here's a rundown of the best player from every season. Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
In just his first full season as a starter and second season in the NFL, Mahomes won MVP after leading the league with 50 touchdowns and an 82.0 QBR. The Chiefs quarterback also had 5,097 yards passing, leading the most prolific offense in the NFL. Denny Medley / USA Today Sports Images
Age was no obstacle for Brady, won who his third MVP Award at age 40. The Patriots signal-caller led the NFL with 4,577 yards passing and also had 32/8 TD/INT, leading the team to a 13-3 regular-season record. Mark Konezny / USA Today Sports Images
Ryan had a breakout season, leading the elite Falcons offense with 4,944 yards passing and 38 touchdowns. His 9.3 yards per pass attempt led the league, but the Falcons memorably blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Brett Davis / USA Today Sports Images
Carolina's versatile quarterback won the 2015 MVP after leading the team to a 15-1 regular-season record. He threw 35 touchdowns and also ran fro 10 more scores during the year. Newton eventually led the Panthers to the Super Bowl, but the team lost to the Broncos. Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images
Coming off an injury-shortened 2013 season, Rodgers won the MVP Award with a huge offensive campaign. He threw for 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns while getting picked off only five times. Green Bay went 12-4 during the regular season but eventually lost to Seattle in the NFC championship game. Jeff Hanisch / USA Today Sports Images
Manning put together one of the greatest offensive seasons by a quarterback in history, leading the league with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns en route to his fifth MVP Award. He led the Broncos to a 13-3 regular-season record for the second consecutive season, but the team was blown out by Seattle in the Super Bowl. Jeff Moffett / Icon Sportswire
Peterson not only made an incredibly quick return from a major knee injury in 2012, but he also reached the vaunted 2,000 yards rushing milestone. He easily led the league with 2,097 yards rushing and 2,314 yards from scrimmage to win league MVP. Zuma Press / Icon Sportswire
Rodgers won his first NFL MVP in his fourth season as a starter, leading the Packers to a 14-1 regular-season record in his 15 starts. He threw for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns vs. only six interceptions. Unfortunately, Green Bay was upset by the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs. MSA / Icon Sportswire
Brady had an incredibly efficient 2010 season, with a league-leading 36 touchdown passes and only four interceptions over 16 starts. He also led the league with 9.0 yards per pass attempt to win MVP. Tom Croke / Icon Sportswire
Manning won his third MVP Award with Indianapolis in 2009, throwing for 4,500 yards and 33 touchdowns in a 14-2 regular season. He led the Colts to the Super Bowl, where they were upset by the Saints. Aaron M. Sprecher / Icon Sportswire
Peyton Manning was the 2008 MVP Award winner, but Brees had superior stats while leading the 8-8 Saints. He led the league with 5,069 yards passing and 34 touchdowns, making his third Pro Bowl. Derick Hingle / Icon Sportswire
After missing nearly all of the 2006 season due to a knee injury, Brady made up for lost time with a historic 2007 campaign. He led the Patriots to a perfect 16-0 regular season after leading the league with 4,806 yards passing, 50 touchdowns and a 68.6 completion rate. The Patriots were upset by the Giants in the Super Bowl, halting their quest for a perfect year. Chris Keane / Icon Sportswire
Tomlinson led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, putting together one of the best years ever by a running back with 1,815 yards on the ground and 28 rushing scores. He won NFL MVP for the 14-2 Chargers. Douglas Jones / Icon Sportswire
Alexander had his fifth straight season with at least 1,100 rushing yards, and this one was clearly his best. The Seahawks star won NFL MVP by leading the league with 1,880 rushing yards and 27 rushing touchdowns. He would start to break down physically the following year. Kevin Casey / Getty Images
Manning had one of the most productive seasons in NFL history by a quarterback in 2004, leading the NFL with 49 touchdown passes while adding 4,557 yards passing. He also led the league with 9.2 yards per pass attempt in a 12-4 regular season. Andrew Hancock / Icon Sportswire
Manning won his first of five career MVP Awards in 2003, sharing the honor with Steve McNair. He led the NFL with 4,267 yards passing and a 67.0 percent completion rate. He added 29 touchdowns passes in the Colts' 12-4 regular season. The Sporting News / Getty Images
Rich Gannon of the rival Raiders won NFL MVP in 2002, but Holmes managed to win Offensive Player of the Year after his tremendous campaign. Playing only 14 games, Holmes had 1,615 yards rushing and led the league with 2,287 yards from scrimmage and 24 total touchdowns. Brian Bahr / Getty Images
Warner's amazing three-year run culminated with a 14-2 regular season record in 2001 in which he led the NFL in passing yards (4,830), passing touchdowns (36) and completion rate 68.7 percent). He was able to win his second MVP, but the Rams were upset by the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
With Kurt Warner missing five games, Faulk was able to step up and win MVP for the league's premier offense. Over 14 regular-season games, Faulk led the league with 26 touchdowns and also had 2,189 yards from scrimmage. John W. McDonough / Icon Sportswire
Faulk was traded from the Colts to the Rams prior to the 1999 season and helped spark the arrival of the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis along with quarterback Kurt Warner. While Warner won NFL MVP, Faulk was arguably more deserving with a league-leading 2,429 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. He also led the league with 5.5 yards per carry. Icon Sportswire
Sanders was a co-MVP with Packers quarterback Brett Favre in 1997, surpassing 2,000 yards rushing and averaging a staggering 6.1 yards per carry. The all-time great would play only one more season before calling it a career following the 1998 season. Jeff Kowalsky / AFP / Getty Images
Favre won his second consecutive MVP Award, leading the league with 39 touchdown passes while going 13-3 during the regular season. Green Bay won the Super Bowl over New England and had the top offense in the league. Wally McNamee / Corbis Sport / Getty Images
Favre won his first of three MVP Awards, leading the league with 4,413 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. Green Bay finished 11-5 during the regular season but lost to the Cowboys in the NFC conference championship. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Young won his second MVP Award in three years, completing more than 70 percent of his passes and leading the league with 35 touchdown passes. The 49ers easily won the Super Bowl due in large part to their dominant offense led by Young. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Young lost out on his second straight MVP due to Emmitt Smith's great season, but the star quarterback had another terrific year. He threw for more than 4,000 yards and led the league with 29 touchdown passes and 8.7 yards per pass attempt. James Smith / Getty Images
Young won the MVP in his first 16-game season as the 49ers starter, leading the league with a 66.7 percent competition rate and 25 passing touchdowns. The lefty's 8.6 yards per pass attempt was also tops in the league. David Madison / Getty Images
Thomas was the first running back since Marcus Allen in 1985 to win NFL MVP, rushing for 1,407 yards and nine scores while leading the league with 4.9 yards per carry. He also had more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Rick Stewart / Getty Images
Joe Montana won NFL MVP in 1990, but Moon had superior stats for the Oilers. Starting 15 games, he led the league with 4,689 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, averaging 8.0 yards per pass attempt. Gin Ellis / Getty Images
Montana won his first NFL MVP Award with arguably his finest season in 1989, completing 70.2 percent of his passes with 3,521 yards and 26 touchdowns. He easily led the NFL with 9.1 passing yards per attempt. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Esiason had his best season in 1988, winning NFL MVP with 3,572 yards passing and 28 touchdowns. He led the league in yards per passing attempt for the second time in three years, as the Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl. Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images
Broncos quarterback John Elway won the NFL MVP, but Montana was arguably better with a league-leading 31 touchdown passes and 66.8 completion rate for the top offense in the NFL. Arthur Anderson / Getty Images
Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor won NFL MVP with 20.5 sacks, but Marino was the NFL's most dominant offensive player. He led the league with 4,746 yards passing and 44 touchdowns, nearly matching his epic 1984 season. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Allen was the first running back since Earl Campbell six years earlier to win NFL MVP, leading the league with 1,759 yards rushing and 2,314 yards from scrimmage. He had 14 total touchdowns as the Raiders went 12-4 during the regular season. John Betancourt / Getty Images
Marino burst onto the scene with one of the best seasons ever by a quarterback, leading the league with 5,084 yards passing and 48 touchdowns and 9.0 yards per pass attempt. Miami went 14-2 during the regular season but fell to the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Fouts won the MVP in a strike-shortened 1982 season, throwing for 2,883 yards and 17 touchdowns in only nine games. He also led the league with 8.7 yards per pass attempt. Mitchell Reibel / Getty Images
Anderson won the 1981 MVP, throwing for 3,754 yards and 29 touchdowns as he led Cincinnati to a 12-4 regular season record. The Bengals lost to San Francisco in the Super Bowl. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Sipe led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1979, but he was even better as the league MVP in 1980. He threw for 4,132 yards and 30 touchdowns while being picked off 14 times. The Browns went 11-5 during the regular season but lost to the Raiders in the divisional round of the playoffs. Dennis Collins / Getty Images
Campbell won his second consecutive MVP Award in 1979, rushing for a league-leading 1,697 yards and 19 touchdowns in his sophomore season. Houston advanced to the AFC conference championship after going 11-5 during the regular season. Bettmann / Getty Images
Rookie running back Earl Campbell won the MVP, but Bradshaw had arguably his finest season as the Steelers went 14-2 and won the Super Bowl. He threw for 2,915 yards and a league-high 28 touchdowns while averaging 7.9 yards per pass attempt. Bettmann / Getty Images
With only his second season as a full-time starter, Jones won MVP for the Colts after leading the league with 3,104 yards passing in 14 games and adding 24 touchdowns. Baltimore went 11-3 during the regular season but fell to Pittsburgh in the playoffs. George Gojkovich / Getty Images
Tarkenton won MVP, leading the NFL with 25 touchdowns passes and falling just short of 3,000 yards passing in a 12-2 regular season. The Vikings were quickly ousted in the playoffs by the Cowboys, however. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Stabler had his only All-Pro season in 1974, leading the league with 26 touchdowns while throwing for 2,469 yards in 14 games. The Raiders averaged a league-leading 25.4 points per game. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Simpson became the NFL's first 2,000-yard rusher in 1973, averaging 143.1 yards per game and adding 12 rushing touchdowns. Buffalo went 9-5 during the regular season but failed to make the playoffs. Bettmann / Getty Images
Brown was the AP Offensive Player of the Year with 1,216 rushing yards in only 12 games, leading the league with 101.3 yards rushing per game. He also led the league with 1,689 yards from scrimmage. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Griese had a brilliant season for the Dolphins with 2,089 yards passing and 19 touchdowns for his first of two All-Pro seasons in 1971. Miami would go on to have a perfect season the following year, though Griese had his season cut short due to injury. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Brodie was the MVP in 1970, leading the NFL with 2,941 yards passing and 24 touchdowns. The 35-year-old quarterback led San Francisco to a 10-3-1 regular season before the Niners fell to Dallas in the NFC championship game. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Gabriel continued his elite play for the Rams in 1969, winning the MVP after throwing for 2,459 yards and a league-high 24 touchdowns. He also throw only seven interceptions in 399 attempts. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Morrall replaced the injured Johnny Unitas in 1968 and was the Colts savior with 2,909 yards passing and a league-leading 26 touchdown passes in a 13-1 regular season. Baltimore would eventually be upset by the Jets in the Super Bowl. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Starr won his only MVP Award, in 1966, with a highly efficient season in which he led the Packers to an 11-2 regular season over his 13 starts. He completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,257 yards and 14 touchdowns while being picked off only three times. James Flores / Getty Images
Brown had perhaps his best season in 1963, leading the NFL with 1,863 yards rushing, 12 rushing touchdowns and 6.4 yards per carry. It was his sixth time leading the league in rushing over seven seasons. Bettmann / Getty Images
Taylor won the MVP after leading the NFL with 1,474 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns in 14 games. He helped the Packers average 29.6 points per game and go 13-1 during the regular season. Robert Riger / Getty Images
Y.A. Tittle won the MVP in 1961, but Jurgensen had bigger numbers, leading the NFL with 3,723 yards passing and 32 touchdowns in his first year as a regular starter. The Eagles went 10-4 during the regular season. Focus on Sport / Getty Images
Unitias won his first NFL MVP from the UPI, leading the NFL with 2,899 yards passing and 32 touchdowns in a 9-3 regular season. He led the Colts to a championship win over the Giants. Robert Riger / Getty Images
Brown won his first MVP Award after leading the NFL with 1,527 yards rushing and 17 rushing touchdowns at age 22. The Browns went 9-3 during the regular season, averaging 25.2 points per game. Hy Peskin Archive / Getty Images
Gifford was the league MVP with a career-high 819 yards rushing and league-leading 1,422 yards from scrimmage in 1956. He helped New York go 8-3-1 during the regular season. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images
Graham won his third UPI MVP Award in his final season. The Browns quarterback threw for 1,721 yards and 15 touchdowns over 12 regular-season games, and Cleveland eventually won the championship game over the Rams. Vic Stein / Getty Images
Van Brocklin averaged a league-high 10.1 yards per pass attempt and 2,637 total yards passing in his terrific 1954 season for the Rams. University of Southern California / Corbis Historical / Getty Images
Graham won his second MVP Award in 1953, throwing for a league-high 2,722 yards and averaging 10.6 yards per completion. Cleveland went 10-1 in his 11 regular-season starts, but the Browns lost to Detroit in the championship game. Bettmann / Getty Images
Van Buren led the NFL in rushing for the third consecutive season, finishing with 1,146 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in 12 games. Philadelphia averaged more than 30 points per game and won the championship. Bettmann / Getty Images
Averaging nearly 86 yards rushing per game, Van Buren led the league with 945 yards rushing and 10 rushing touchdowns. Philly's offense averaged 31.3 points per game and won the championship. Bettmann / Getty Images
Baugh's Redskins went only 4-8 during the regular season, but he led the league with 2,938 yards passing and 25 passing touchdowns. His 4.2 percent interception rate was also the best in the league. The Sporting News / Getty Images
Waterfield led the NFL in touchdown passes (14) and yards per pass attempt (9.4) in his rookie season, as the Rams went 9-1 and won the championship. He also won the Joe F. Carr Trophy as the league MVP. Bettmann / Getty Images
Hutson had a career year in 1942, leading the NFL with 74 receptions for 1,211 yards and 17 receiving touchdowns. He also successfully kicked 33 extra points and had seven interceptions at safety. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images
Hall led the NFL in passes and touchdown rate during his rookie season, completing 51 percent of his passes for 1,227 yards and nine touchdowns. He also ran for 458 yards and two scores. He won MVP after becoming the first player in league history to complete more than 100 passes in a season. Collegiate Images / Getty Images
Battles played his final NFL season in 1937, leading the league with 216 carries for 874 yards and five rushing touchdowns. Washington went 8-3 during the regular season and won the championship. Bettmann / Getty Images
Herber led the NFL in passing touchdowns for the third time in 1937, with 11, and added a league-high 1,239 yards passing. The Green Bay native led the team to a 10-1-1 regular season record and championship win. Bettmann / Getty Images
Clark led the NFL with eight rushing touchdowns and also kicked 13 extra points during Detroit's 10-3 regular season. He was selected as a first-time All-Pro at quarterback. The Denver Post / Getty Images
Friedman led the best offense in the NFL in 1928, throwing 10 touchdown passes and also leading the league in rushing touchdowns. The Wolverines went 7-2-1 for the season. New York Times Co. / Getty Images
Driscoll played in both MLB and the NFL and scored 78 points for the Chicago Cardinals in 1923. He was the league's leading scorer, even though he appeared in only eight of 12 games. Bettmann / Getty Images
Oliphant led the league in points scored after throwing seven touchdowns and also kicking five field goals and 26 extra points. Buffalo went 9-1-2 with Oliphant starring in 1921. George Rinhart / Corbis Historical / Getty Images
Pollard was one of only two African American players in 1920. He led the team that won the first APFA championship. B Bennett / Getty Images
Report: Giants' Manning 'most likely' will retire after season .
We may have seen the last of Eli Manning.Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reported Friday that Manning “most likely” will retire following the 2019 campaign.