Drew Brees
Drew Brees set a record in 2011 with 5,476 passing yards. Reuters

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees broke an over 50-year passing record held by legend Johnny Unitas when the Saints star found Devery Henderson on a 40-yard strike on Sunday night to extend his touchdown pass streak to 48 games.

Unitas's mark had been the record since 1960, and several great quarterbacks have failed to come close to breaking the prestigious record. Johnny Unitas's son, Joe, was at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans to witness the event unfold, and Brees stated that he had a chance to speak to Joe before the game.

The NFL granted Brees's request to allow suspended head coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt, and general manager Mickey Loomis, to be in attendance. Cameras caught Payton watching the game against the San Diego Chargers with great interest.

The Saints held off the Chargers, 31-24, for their first victory of the season. Still, the spotlight was on the veteran quarterback, who also threw for a total of four touchdowns and 370 yards on 29-of-45 passing.

Brees, who began his career with the Chargers, has been a record setter in New Orleans. The 33-year-old broke Dan Marino's 27-year-old passing record for yards in one season with 5,476 in 2011.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell posted on Twitter on Sunday: "Congrats to @drewbrees & his teammates on breaking Unitas' record. Amazing accomplishment by great QB & leader. We're proud of you, Drew."

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady has the third-longest streak for consecutive games with a touchdown pass at 37. On Sunday, Brady found Wes Welker on an eight-yard touchdown pass against the Denver Broncos.