It took until the fourth quarter but it was well worth the wait.
With a 6-yard reception from Teddy Bridgewater during a 33-14 loss to the visiting Carolina Panthers, Michael Thomas surpassed Joe Horn for the New Orleans Saints single-season record for receiving yards with 1,405.
Thomas finished the game with five receptions for 29 yards. Thomas tallied an NFL-best 125 receptions this season, which is also a Saints record.
Judge me by progress, with God as my witness 🙏🏾 https://t.co/zfPhXNBgoM
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) December 30, 2018
The competitive Thomas is humbled to be in the record books but wishes he was able to make history in a victory.
“We support each other,” Thomas said to NOLA.com. “We just wish we could have done more for each other. You always want to be on the winning side against a divisional team.”
Meanwhile, Saints coach Sean Payton is confident the 25-year-old Thomas is just scratching the surface of his amazing potential.
“He’s got so many other more significant things that are going to happen in his career, and yet he’s a fantastic player for us,” Payton said to NOLA.com. “It was good to see him get a milestone like that. For him, it’s always about winning, though.”
Photo: Saints legend Joe Horn rocking the Michael Thomas jersey in the Dome 📞 pic.twitter.com/bb6cbB402v
— Michael DeMocker (@MichaelDeMocker) December 30, 2018
With home field advantage already secured throughout the NFC playoffs, the Saints opted to give Drew Brees some rest.
Brees marveled at his favorite target’s accomplishment from the sidelines.
The Saints made a concerted effort from the onset to aid Thomas in the process.
“I was aware,” Bridgewater said to NOLA.com. “Some of the decisions, for me, were made early in the game with the thought of trying to get Mike T. the record instead of just letting it happen. Eventually, I just started playing to get into the flow of the game instead of trying to force it. He was able to break that record. I’m proud of him.”
Thomas amassed an 85 percent catch rate, which set a record for receivers with at least 100 targets since 1992, according to NOLA.com. The previous mark was set by Wes Welker (77.2 percent) in 2007.
The Saints will have a bye week before facing a TBD opponent in the divisional round on Jan. 13 at 3:40 p.m. (CST).
Thomas is taking a business-like approach as the Saints strive for the second Super Bowl title in franchise history.
“We play this game to win,” Thomas said to NOLA.com. “That’s the most important thing. The record is there, but there’s not much to talk about.”
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