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Brees sets passing mark, Saints top Falcons 45-16

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates a touchdown by running back Pierre Thomas in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 26, 2011. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates a touchdown by running back Pierre Thomas in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
By Brett Martel
AP Sports Writer / December 26, 2011
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NEW ORLEANS—Drew Brees set the NFL record for yards passing in a season, breaking a mark that Dan Marino had held since 1984, and the New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South title with a 45-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.

Brees threw for 307 yards and four touchdown passes, the last a 9-yard strike to Darren Sproles that set the record with 2:51 to go.

It was Brees' final pass of the game and it gave him 5,087 yards passing -- with one game still to play. As Sproles spiked the ball, Brees put his arm over his head and started walking toward midfield while the Superdome crowd went wild and his teammates chased him down.

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