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With Extra Week Off to Prepare, Redskins Want to Stop Brees Passing Record and Upset the Saints

201 yards. That's all that Saints QB Drew Brees needs to break the NFL's all-time passing yardage mark next Monday Night.

And chances are more than good that he will be able to achieve that remarkable feat without much resistance from their opponents the Washington Redskins, in front of a live national television audience (the NFL schedule-makers guessed exactly right) on ESPN.

Future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning holds the record of 71,940 yards, with Hall of Famer Brett Favre in 2nd place at 71,838. Brees is 3rd at the moment, with 71,740.

But all of the talk about breaking records at their expense, is something that the Redskins aren't all that thrilled about from their perspective.

In fact, their goal next Monday Night is a simple one: which is to stop Brees from getting the record, and also somehow manage to pull off the upset in front of a sold-out Superdome crowd as well.

After having a Bye Week this past week, the Redskins will have had plenty of rest before they face the Black and Gold in this contest.

And yesterday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden told Washington, D.C. area reporters in a post practice press conference that while this long layoff could negatively affect some teams, his team will be highly motivated to play well because they'll be on Pro Football's biggest stage (other than the Super Bowl) — which is ESPN Monday Night Football.

“I think playing on Monday Night Football helps a lot,” Gruden said.

“I think you should be pumped up to come out of the tunnel against the Saints on Monday night. They’re (3-1) and obviously led by a Hall of Fame quarterback again."

"It’s going to be a very exciting time for everybody. These young guys are going to have to step it up and the veteran guys are going to have to lead the way. But, should not have any problem whatsoever motivating the cats for Monday Night Football.”

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Gruden only briefly mentioned stopping Brees, which he's well aware and has acknowledged previously will be almost impossible to do.

But pulling off the upset is certainly something they're more than capable of, given last season's unforgettable match-up between these two teams.

As Saints fans might recall:

In that contest, the Redskins led by a score of 31-16; when Brees — who completed 29 of 41 passes for 385 yards with two touchdowns and an interception — led his team back from a 15-point deficit in the final 3 minutes by connecting on TD passes of 3 yards to Josh Hill and 18 yards to Alvin Kamara in back-to-back series at the end of regulation.

In those two drives alone, Brees was 11-for-11 passing for 164 yards and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3

Photo courtesy of Michael C. Hebert

The Saints ended up winning 34-31 in overtime, and it was a stark reminder to all of those who allege that Brees is "declining", that he still has plenty left to offer; despite the fact that he will turn age 40 in a little bit over 3 more months from now.

Brees might only still have another 3 to 4 years left in him, but when he can still do the things in crucial moments as he demonstrated in that contest 10 months ago, it clearly showed why he's STILL one of the sport of Pro Football's greatest players.

That's something that you can be certain that every single Redskins defender will be thinking about and remembering when the ball kicks off next Monday Night.

The odds are against them stopping Brees, even though Brees has struggled against the Redskins throughout his career.

In his seven career games against the Redskins, Brees has thrown 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has a 75.6 completion rate, his lowest against any NFL team.

Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

However, while stopping Brees from surpassing Peyton Manning might seem like a long shot at this point, pulling off the upset might not prove to be all that difficult of a task.

The Redskins have actually won 4 of their last 6 games against the Saints, dating back to 2006. The Redskins are (9-4) all-time in New Orleans, counting last year's wild conclusion.

And, they've already gotten one signature win against another "elite" QB just two weeks ago.

This current Redskins defense limited Packers All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay to 340 yards in a 31-17 victory just over a week ago, back in Week #3 at FedEx Field.

However, it's also important to note that Rodgers, who is still a dangerous player despite being slowed by a recent knee injury, was hampered by steady rainfall as Green Bay receivers dropped passes and the Packers played sloppy football on the wet turf.

Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Nevertheless, it was still a "W" over one of the sport's best players, which is why you had better believe that the Redskins will look to do it once again this upcoming Monday Night.

When Drew Brees steps on to the field next Monday Night, chances are more than good that he will be able to break the NFL's all-time passing yardage mark without much resistance.

But if he and the Saints want to enjoy and savor the moment, then they'll have to be certain to avoid the upset bid by a well-rested Redskins team looking to achieve its goal...

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Saints News Network Editor / Featured Columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and columnist previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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