And then the big moment came on a 62-yard touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith.
After the record-breaking completion, officials stopped the game and the game ball was handed over to Pro Football Hall of Fame officials on the sideline while the Superdome crowd offered a standing ovation. Brees's next move was to the sideline, where his wife, children and Saints Coach Sean Payton awaited emotional embraces.
Brees entered Monday's game 201 yards shy of the milestone.
On a more serious note, Manning said Brees broke the record "the right way". But I don't think it could have happened in any better fashion than it did.
In a hilarious video released by the Saints, Manning is seen making a salad when he's informed that Brees broke his mark of 71,940 passing yards.
Teenager Prithvi Shaw roars at Rajkot with Test century on debut
Shaw and Pujara, who came one down, however, maintained their calm and punished the bad deliveries to complete half-centuries. At the end of the first session, Shaw was unbeaten on 75 and Pujara was on 56 as they posted 130 runs in 25 overs.
Mark Ingram had run for touchdowns of one and two yards and Brees flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hill for other Saints scoring in the first half.
A second-round pick by the Chargers in 2001 after setting records at Purdue, Brees spent five seasons in San Diego as his career got off to a somewhat slow start.
With the game well in hand after the two-minute warning, Payton subbed Brees out of the game.
Any hope Washington had of coming back was all but snuffed out when Justin Hardee, a special teams regular who was in the game because of Marshon Lattimore's concussion symptoms, snagged Alex Smith's underthrown pass at the Saints' 19-yard line and returned his first career interception to the Washington 4. And I gotta tell you, it's been the greatest 1,000 days of my life. He finished the game completing 26 of 29 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
Brees entered Monday 43 passing touchdowns short of Manning's National Football League record of 539 for a career, meaning that he is on pace to top that mark in 2019.
Brees passed Favre's total on a 6-yard pass to Alvin Kamara during the second quarter. Thanks to you, that's over now, and you've ruined that for me.