METAIRIE, La. – For nearly three years, spanning four seasons, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been on a touchdown pass tear like few others in the history of the NFL.
In fact, only one other quarterback at this point has had a touchdown pass in more games consecutively than Brees – legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas.
On Sunday, in one of football’s grand and historic cathedrals, Brees has a chance to make history.
A touchdown pass against the Packers in Green Bay’s Lambeau Field would tie Brees with Unitas, whose record of 47 straight games with a touchdown pass spanned 1956-60.
“When you say that name Johnny Unitas, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, certainly his accomplishments speak for themselves and one of the pioneers of this game, to even be in the realm of a record that he’s held for a long time, it’s an honor,” Brees said. “It’s humbling.”
There’s a little symmetry in their feats.
Both streaks started with touchdown passes to tight ends. Brees’ was to Jeremy Shockey in a 48-27 throttling of the New York Giants on Oct. 18, 2009 while Unitas’ was Jim Mutscheller in a 31-7 loss at the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 9, 1956.
And while Unitas played in a different era, he was nearly as prolific. He threw 103 touchdown passes through 46 games of his 47-game streak. Brees has 110 through 46.
Brees has had 13 one-touchdown games while Unitas had 15.
But Brees said he’s not focused on the record.
“Obviously we’re not there yet, but I focus on my job,” Brees said. “I focus on what I need to do to help our team win. Usually that stuff just takes care of itself.”