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Michael Thomas Helps Drew Brees Make History in Win Over Indianapolis Colts

The historic performance of Drew Brees on Monday night would not have been possible without the continued excellence of Michael Thomas.

There’s no doubt who the star was in the New Orleans Saints 34-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees not only reset the career passing touchdowns record, which now stands at 541. He also set a new single-game record by finishing the memorable night with a completion percentage of 96.6. Brees was near-perfect, but his historic performance would not have been possible without the continued excellence of Michael Thomas, the best receiver Brees has ever thrown a pass to.

Michael Thomas Helps Drew Brees Make History Against Indianapolis Colts

Reliable as Ever

Thomas was a big reason why Brees finished the game with just one incompletion. He caught all 12 of his targets for 128 yards and a touchdown. All but two catches for 20 yards came in the first half alone, making up nearly half of Brees’s first half production (20/21, 230 yards, two touchdowns). Additionally, all but four of Thomas’s catches led to either a first down or a touchdown.

Most Impressive Plays

While Brees threw with precision all night, Thomas managed to haul in several challenging passes.

On his first catch of the game, Thomas put forth a great effort to pick up a first down. He had to come back upfield to get into position and leaped for the catch. The cornerback pulled Thomas back while he was still airborne, moving him two yards away from the first down marker. Thomas powered forward with the defender still hanging on and got beyond the marker.

The fourth-year wide receiver made his difficult second catch look easy. He ran a crossing route and Brees threw a high dart Thomas’s way as he crossed the center of the field. Thomas twisted his upper body, reached for the ball, and effortlessly secured the catch.

Thomas found space in the middle of a Colts cover 2 zone for his touchdown catch. While getting open wasn’t too difficult, Thomas took a big hit to his chest as he reeled in the pass. Thomas went down quickly, but he didn’t let the ball leave his grasp.

Chemistry With Brees Leads to Two Amazing Grabs

Thomas’s next catch was perhaps his most impressive of the season. Thomas ran a crossing route about 11 yards downfield but struggled to gain separation. Brees found a way to get him open anyway though, leading Thomas downfield with lofty throw and trusting him to get under it. It nearly sailed beyond his grasp, but Thomas reached out with one hand and tipped ball back to himself for 24-yard gain.

Early in the third quarter, Brees threw a pass to Thomas that looked nearly impossible to reel in. Brees had to throw it low as the defender was all over Thomas on a slant. Thomas lunged forward and caught the ball on one knee before the CB fell on him. As he went down, Thomas swung his arms and the ball to the opposite side of his torso so that ball wouldn’t pop out as he hit the ground.

Michael Thomas Also Making History

Thomas made some history of his own against the Colts.

He finished the game with 133 receptions on the season, making him only the second player in NFL history to catch 125 or more passes in multiple seasons. If Thomas catches 11 more passes in the remaining two games, he’ll break Marvin Harrison‘s record for most single-season receptions. Based on his 9.5 catch per game average, Thomas is on pace for 152 receptions.

Thomas caught 100 percent of his targets yet again on Monday night, which moved him into uncharted territory by a number of measures. It was the fourth game in Thomas’s career where he caught at least nine passes and had a 100% catch rate. This is the most by any receiver since at least 1992 (catch rate statistics unavailable prior to 1992).

Thomas also now has four games this season where he caught at least 10 passes at a 90% or better catch rate. This is a new single season record, again dating back to at least 1992. Thomas had three such games last year, making him the only receiver to have multiple seasons with three of these performances.

This was also the fifth game this season where Thomas recorded at least 10 catches, 100 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown, which has never been done more than four times in a single season. If Thomas tops 100 receiving yards again in the Saints two remaining games, he can tie the record for most 100-yard receiving games in a single season (11).

Bright Future

In his first four seasons, Thomas has been a huge part of why Brees continues playing at a high level. If Thomas can sustain his outstanding production for another four or five years, he will join his first NFL quarterback in the Hall of Fame someday.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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