Saints’ Colston sets two more franchise records in win over 49ers
To New Orleans Saints record-shattering quarterback Drew Brees, it’s a given that teammate Marques Colston will one day be inducted into the franchise’s new Ring of Honor in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
While the reserved Colston typically doesn’t think about records and other accomplishments, Brees did it for him after Colston set two more career receiving records in a 23-20 win Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Both during and after the pulsating victory, Brees reflected on how Colston’s name will one day be added to the franchise’s all-time greats after breaking team marks for receiving yards and total yards from scrimmage.
“It’s awesome … I thought about this today,” Brees said of looking up at the façade of the Terrace level and seeing the names of Archie Manning, Rickey Jackson and Willie Roaf that were unveiled last week. “I couldn’t help but think of the guys on this team that will be up there.
“Marques Colston is one of those guys. ... I’m fortunate to have played with him the last eight years. Hopefully, we’ll have quite a few more together.”
Colston, who caught five passes for 80 yards against the Niners, already had broken Joe Horn’s record for touchdown receptions and Eric Martin’s mark for catches — the latter in the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
After being shut out in the first half, Colston caught a 14-yard pass from Brees midway through the third quarter to give him 7,857 yards to Martin’s 7,854, then soared past Martin with a 26-yard reception early in the fourth period for 7,883 yards — bettering Martin’s total of 7,865.
Colston later added three more catches, including grabs of 6 and 14 yards on a drive that led to the game-tying field goal in the final period, and had a 20-yarder to help set up Garrett Hartley’s game-winning field goal on the final play of the contest.
Colston now has 7,923 receiving yards and 7,930 total yards from scrimmage.
As usual, however, he downplayed most of the talk about records.
“It’s obviously an awesome feeling, but it’s one that I’ll kind of wait until the offseason to reflect on,” said the former Hofstra star. “We’ve still got a lot of football left to play this year, and really on a short week we’ve got to gear up and get ready for Atlanta (on Thursday night).”
Colston knew going into the game that he needed only 12 yards to break the records Martin set from 1985 to 1993, but didn’t have time to realize he had officially erased the record that stood for two decades.
“I knew what it was going in, but at that point the game was definitely still hanging in the balance,” he said, “so there were obviously more important things to think about.”
It was more, he noted, about the team getting an eighth win to surpass its total of seven victories last season and positioning itself for a strong playoff run later — in the process giving the Saints a tie-breaking edge over the 49ers if it comes down to that.
“It was a really good opponent and any time you beat a quality team like that, it’s a great feeling,” Colston said.
To him, each of his four key grabs in the fourth quarter that helped the Saints come back from a 20-14 deficit were just as important as the ones that helped him break Martin’s record.
“It’s just really anything to help get a ‘W,’” he said. “I feel like everyone in this locker room has this same feeling. That’s what makes us a great team.”