The game was stopped so the moment could be recognized with Brees' family and the removal of the ball so that it could go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Brees then removed his helmet, saluted fans and exchanged hugs on the sideline with his wife, Brittany, their four kids and Saints coach Sean Payton. But one thing the microphones picked up which wasn't immediately noticed was what Brees told his children after he broke the record.
Drew Brees became the NFL's all-time leader in yards passing - and he did it with a certain panache and precision that made the 39-year-old quarterback look far from finished.
The Saints' Smith, a third-round draft choice last spring, caught two touchdown passes from the 18th-year pro.
Brees' teammates ran toward their quarterback as he jogged behind the play, and a group of them formed a jumping, celebrating mass of black and gold next to the Saints' fleur-de-lis emblem on the 50-yard line.
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It was a good-natured video from Manning, and he wrapped it up with serious congratulations.
The league halted competition in order to honor Bree's achievement.
Brees, who's 39 years old now, has put together a superb career to this point, with a Super Bowl victory and MVP honors in that game.
With the game well in hand after the two-minute warning, Payton subbed Brees out of the game.
You just knew the man was going to do it in style. "I think touchdowns probably has a little more meaning to a quarterback, because it means that you got six points, and it means you were doing something good for your team".
It also took Brees fewer games than Manning to pass for 71,740 yards - Brees achieved the feat in 253 games compared to Manning's 266.