NEW ORLEANS — Saints coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis, who are suspended for their role in the bounty scandal, watched Sunday night’s game with the San Diego Chargers from suites in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Payton was on hand to watch quarterback Drew Brees set an NFL record with a touchdown pass in his 48th consecutive game, which happened in the first quarter on a 40-yard throw to Devery Henderson.
The score broke a tie with Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, whose record of 47 games in a row with a touchdown was tied by Brees a week earlier against the Green Bay Packers.
Payton, who received permission from Commissioner Roger Goodell to attend the game at Brees’ request, was not allowed to have contact with the team or do interviews.
Brees, who started his 100th regular-season game for the Saints, reached another milestone in the third quarter when he surpassed the 30,000-yard mark in career passing since coming to New Orleans in 2006.
Playing against the team that allowed him to leave after the 2005 season, Brees threw for 370 yards in the game and now has 30,114 yards for his seven-year career.
Saints wide receiver Marques Colston had the 50th, 51st and 52nd touchdown receptions of his seven-year on 19-, 16- and 5-yard scoring passes from Brees in the second, third and fourth quarters, respectively.
The scoring catches allowed Colston to surpass wide receiver Joe Horn, who had 50 from 2000-06.
The Saints’ inactives were WR Lance Moore (hamstring), LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), DE Turk McBride (ankle), RB Travaris Cadet (shoulder), DT Tyrunn Walker and T Bryce Harris.
Inactives of note for the Chargers were K Nate Kaeding (groin), CB Shareece Wright (foot), S Brandon Taylor and TE Ladarius Green.
Taylor played at LSU and Green is a former UL-Lafayette standout.
For the Saints, CB Jabari Greer left in the second quarter with a hip injury and did not return.
With the NFL recognizing National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, both teams and the officials accentuated their uniforms with the color pink on everything from wristbands to towels to shoes.
The Saints’ breast cancer awareness honorary captain was Kim Mallory, the wife of assistant special teams coach Mike Mallory. Kim Mallory has twice survived breast cancer.
The Saints media relations department left an open seat in the press box for longtime New Orleans AP writer Mary Foster, who died Sept. 23 of complications from cancer.
Foster, who covered the Saints for two decades until the mid-2000s, had her name engraved on a small black placard at her seat. The seat will remain empty for the rest of the 2012 season.
Brees’ touchdown pass to Henderson in the first quarter was the 292nd of his career, which broke a tie with Warren Moon for seventh on the NFL’s all-time list. … Former Saints coach Jim Mora and wife Connie watched the game from the press box. Mora does a pregame show for WDSU-TV, the New Orleans NBC affiliate, when the Saints play on that network. … Recording star Jordin Sparks, the daughter of former New York Giants defensive back Phillippi Sparks, performed the national anthem.
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