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In an era with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, it has been easy to overlook Drew Brees as he’s cemented his status among the greatest to ever play the game.

It was only fitting that on Monday Night Football, Brees had the spotlight he deserves.

Brees became the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader when he threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith that propelled him past Manning’s previous record of 71,490 yards.
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Greer: Brees’ dedication to hard work made him great
Former teammate of Drew Brees and current NFL on TSN analyst Jabari Greer explains how Brees’ attention to detail and years of hard work behind the scenes has made the QB one of the best all-time.

It was a special moment on so many levels and for so many people. It felt good watching Brees celebrate with his teammates on the field. It felt good watching him take a moment to hug and kiss his wife and children on the sideline, followed by a long embrace with head coach Sean Payton. Of course, Brees also took the time to acknowledge the fans, pointing to the crowd as he made his way off and then back on to the field. There was one word that kept coming to mind throughout the celebration: class.

I was fortunate enough to watch the game with one of Brees’ former teammates in TSN NFL analyst Jabari Greer. Jabari talked about the standard Brees has set for the entire organization since he signed with the Saints back in 2006. He talked about the way Brees has always led by example – both on and off the field.

What resonated most was the way Jabari talked about the impact Brees and his family has had on the entire community in New Orleans, an impact that is hard to actually quantify or put in to perspective. There is no doubt Brees deserves to be considered among the greatest quarterbacks ever. The fact that he has used his platform to give so much back to the community truly makes him special.

Brees went on to complete 26-of-29 pass attempts for 363 yards and three touchdowns in a 43-19 win over the Washington Redskins. The Saints have won four straight since a season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to climb to the top of the NFC South standings.

Brees ranks fourth in the NFL with 1,658 passing yards this season, just 69 yards behind Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Brees owns the all-time record for most seasons leading the NFL in passing yards with seven. It won’t be a surprise if he adds to that total this season.

Next up for Brees is the chance to enter the 500 TD club, as he will join Brady, Manning and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks to throw 500 scores with his next touchdown pass. New Orleans is on a bye this week. Circle the Saints trip to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Oct. 21 as the date Brees reaches another milestone.

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Leading by nine points with less than 7 minutes left, the Ravens defense stumbled down the stretch for the second consecutive year.
On one hand, the Steelers’ offensive performance on Sunday Night Football was, as outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said, shocking.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for more than 500 yards, wide receiver Antonio Brown put up over 200 and running back Le’Veon Bell scored three touchdowns.

On the other hand, the Ravens’ 39-38 loss felt all too familiar. Just like last year in Pittsburgh on Christmas, Baltimore’s proud defense faltered down the stretch and blew a late lead. It was a case of déjà vu.
“This one hurts,” Suggs said. “We lose to them the same way we did last year. This one sucks.”

The stakes weren’t nearly as high this time. Last year, the Ravens’ loss on Brown’s “immaculate extension” with nine seconds left knocked them out of playoff contention. This year, Baltimore is still in fine postseason position with three games left.

But that fact didn’t give the Ravens much solace in the immediate postgame sting.

The Ravens defense, which has led Baltimore for much of the season, let one slip through its fingers, to an arch rival, when it had them on the ropes in their own house.

“If you told me the offense would put up 38 points, I would 100 percent say we were going to win,” safety Eric Weddle said. “It’s just tough, man. We didn’t make the plays. … This is going to sting for a while, especially the guys on defense, especially because we care so much and hold ourselves to such a high standard.”

The Steelers came out hot, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives of the game, both by Bell. Pittsburgh didn’t punt in the first half and scored 20 points.

But Baltimore’s defense flipped the script in the third quarter, forcing punts on three consecutive drives while the offense scored 17 unanswered points to take an 11-point lead.

Pittsburgh scored on every drive after that – four straight. The plays that hurt the most were a 57-yard strike to Brown over the middle on third-and-10, a 22-yard gain to Brown on the next drive and a meandering 11-yard touchdown run by Bell on third-and-1.

The Steelers’ final game-winning drive started out well for Baltimore as Suggs broke through for a sack on first down, putting Pittsburgh in a second-and-19 situation with one minute, 35 seconds left on their own 8-yard line.

Pittsburgh whittled it to third-and-5 on a couple passes to tight end Jessie James, who the Ravens struggled to clamp down on throughout the night.

Then, facing a third-and-4, Roethlisberger went to Brown with their bread-and-butter big play. Roethlisberger chucked it down the right sideline in the perfect spot over Brown’s outside shoulder for a 34-yard gain. Matched up one-on-one, cornerback Brandon Carr hardly had a chance at it.

That pretty much did it, as Steelers kicker Chris Boswell banged a 46-yarder through the uprights with 46 seconds left to win it.
“Good throw. One of the best in the game, quarterback and receiver,” Carr said. “I’ve been on an island for 10 years. Sometimes you can’t get them all.”

The Steelers have a long, storied history, which makes it even more jarring that Roethlisberger set a franchise record in completions (44) and attempts (66).

Stats aside, it’s the way that Pittsburgh came on at the end that was so painful.

The Ravens entered the game as the best fourth-quarter team in the league and harped on finishing all offseason after what happened in Heinz Field last year. It steered their offseason decisions. It was beaten into their heads in meetings.

“You can never take the gas pedal off when you play this team,” Weddle said. “We played outstanding in the third quarter, and then they just get on these runs that we can’t dig ourselves out of.”

“The simple fact that we were leading in the fourth quarter is why it sucks,” Suggs echoed. “In the fourth quarter, the defense dropped the ball tonight.”