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Inside the Numbers Behind Drew Brees’ Epic Journey to Becoming an NFL Legend

Drew Brees has made quite the career out of proving the doubters wrong. Tonight’s milestone is another example of his greatness.

In front of a raucous crowd at the Superdome, the New Orleans Saints quarterback vaulted past Peyton Manning (71,940) into the top spot during the Monday Night Football matchup vs. the Washington Redskins.

In his dozen years at the helm in New Orleans, Brees has a Super Bowl MVP, 10 Pro Bowl appearances and is the NFL’s record holder for career passing yards, career completions and highest career completion percentage.

Here’s where Brees stood in the history books heading into tonight’s game:

However, those accolades only scratch the surface of how absolutely dominant Brees has been.

ESPN crunched the numbers to compile a wide-scoping list of accomplishments by the future Hall of Fame member leading up to this moment.

Brees holds the head-to-head advantage (3-2) against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, including a perfect passer rating (158.3) in the 2009 showdown, a 38-17 victory.

After making the Pro Bowl in 2004, Brees tore his labrum in 2005 and the then-San Diego Chargers committed to Phillip Rivers as their quarterback in 2006. Since joining the Saints, Brees has more wins (115), touchdowns (416), passing yards (59,392) and Pro Bowl selections than Rivers.

Brees racked up a ridiculous seven touchdowns and 505 yards in a 52-49 overtime victory vs. the New York Giants in 2015.

In 2011, Brees set the NFL record for most passing yards in a season (5,476). Brees is the only quarterback in NFL history with multiple 5,000 yard passing seasons (5) with only four others ever having a single 5,000 yard season (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Matthew Stafford).

“He’s got everything it takes,” Brady said to ESPN. “I think that’s why he’s thrown for 5,000 yards five times.”

That’s high praise coming from one G.O.A.T. contender to another.

Brees has definitely spread the wealth as six Saints players have had 1,000 yard receiving seasons (six times by Marques Colston) in his time at the helm.

The 6-foot Brees is the ultimate example that height is only a number. Instincts are the reason he’ll be getting a gold jacket and bronze bust when he hangs up his cleats.

“A lot of it is feel as opposed to actual vision,” Brees said to ESPN. “People may not believe it, and maybe it’s different for taller guys — I don’t know — but there’s times where I don’t see it. I can’t see it visually with my eyes. But I can feel it.”