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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Saints morning report: Brees gets topped

By Mike Triplett

METAIRIE, La. – New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was well aware that one of his longest-standing passing records was broken over the weekend when the subject came up during his weekly media session Wednesday. Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday attempted 89 passes in a 62-38 loss to Oregon, breaking Brees’ record of 83 attempts, which he set as a sophomore at Purdue in 1998.

“Records are made to be broken,” said Brees, whose record of 55 completions in that game had already been broken years earlier.

Then he added with an admiring tone, “That’s a loooot of balls.”

Brees vividly remembers his 55-for-83 performance in a 31-24 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers, who went on to the Rose Bowl that year. He threw two touchdown passes and four interceptions in the dramatic affair.

“And we had a chance to send it to OT, so it could have been even more wild,” said Brees, who insisted that he “could have thrown 100 more” if needed that night.

Brees and former Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller turned out to be trend-setters in college football. Fifteen years ago, they were one of the few teams airing it out like so many do today.

“You’d say in 1998 that was a bit unusual compared to nowadays,” Brees said. “Nowadays for a team to put up 70 points and 700 yards of offense and throw it 80 times, that’s not all that uncommon.

“But still, that’s 89 times.”

Total recall: Brees has always had an uncanny ability to recall details from past performances. After the Purdue memory Wednesday, I asked him how many of the 44 players he could name that he has thrown touchdown passes to in his NFL career, and he was pretty confident he could come close to the full list. He immediately started rattling off names from his days with the San Diego Chargers, starting with the first -- tight end Freddie Jones.

Hard to beat: ESPN Stats & Information dug up several streaks that don’t bode well for the visiting Buffalo Bills on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome: Worth a click: