BOSTON (CBS) — Thursday night’s Saints-Falcons game will likely have zero impact on the 2012 Patriots, but Tom Brady was uniquely affected by the performance of Drew Brees.

Brees entered the game having thrown a touchdown in 54 consecutive games, an NFL record. He passed Johnny Unitas earlier this season by throwing a touchdown against the Chargers, passing Unitas’ mark of 47 straight games with a touchdown pass.

Brees’ failure to complete a touchdown pass on Thursday night means that Brady now owns the longest active streak. The Pats’ quarterback has thrown for a touchdown in 43 straight games, dating back to Week 1 of the 2010 season. The last time Brady did not throw a touchdown in a regular-season game was Week 17 of 2009, the game in which Wes Welker suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter and Brady split time with Brian Hoyer.

For Brady to pass Brees and set the all-time mark, he’ll have to throw a touchdown in the remaining five games this season and the first seven games of next season to reach the mark of 55 straight games.

Brady and Brees are actually tied for the longest uninterrupted streak at 43 games, as Brees sat out the Saints’ 2009 season finale.

Brees’ streak ended Thursday night, though it probably should have continued. A 7-yard catch-and-run into the end zone by Darren Sproles was taken off the board because of an offensive pass interference penalty before halftime, and later, a pass in the end zone was dropped by receiver Lance Moore. Brees also threw five interceptions on the night, while Brady has just three interceptions in the entire season.

This season, Brady and the Patriots will face Miami, Houston and San Francisco at home and take on Jacksonville and Miami on the road. The 49ers have allowed just 12 passing touchdowns all season, while Miami and Jacksonville surprisingly rank 10th and 11th, respectively, in the league in that category.


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