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Saints' Brees Chases Unitas

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Johnny Unitas statue outside M&T Bank Stadium
Johnny Unitas statue outside M&T Bank Stadium

Although New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees didn't need all five touchdown passes he threw in his team's 42-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings in week 15 to stay in the hunt for the most consecutive games throwing at least one TD pass, he moved one game closer to catching Baltimore Colts legendary QB Johnny Unitas, who holds the record with 47 straight games.

Brees now stands at 41 straight games and seems almost unstoppable in his quest to lead his Saints to victory in every game, much less in his pursuit of the record that has stood for over 50 years. New Orleans hosts the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football and the Saints beat the Falcons 26-23 in OT in week 10 as Brees threw two TD passes and should be able to get at least one more to keep the steak going.

Another Unitas milestone was tied last week, although not by Drew Brees. The record, which was the number of 4th quarter TD passes in one season, was tied at 14 by New York Giants QB Eli Manning, who tied not only Unitas (who did it in 1959), but also his brother, Peyton, who did it in 2002. One more 4th quarter TD pass by Eli in his team's final two games and he will break the record held by the two Colts QB's, who will be etched in memory together in the discussion of the best QB in NFL history.

Of course, Unitas set the record in only 12 games, as the NFL season was four games shorter in 1959 than it is today, so whether or not Manning breaks the record, the efficiency in which Unitas did it will not be challenged