By: Ben Scheffer contributing writer for Telegraph Local
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has set a new record for receptions in a single season with 144 receptions besting former Colts legend Marvin Harrison who previously set the mark with 143 in 2002.
Thomas also caught his ninth touchdown of the season in the Saints 38-28 win over the Tennessee Titans as they try to keep pace in the NFC playoff race hoping to lock up a first round bye. Thomas tied Harrison’s 17-year-old record by catching a pass thrown by Taysom Hill in the fourth quarter and would later break it on a 2nd and 9 pass from Saints Quarterback Drew Brees. The play was called a touchdown on the field but instant replay would rule him down at the 1 yard line. Two plays later Drew Brees would throw a touchdown to Thomas to give the Saints a 10 point advantage extending their lead late in the fourth quarter.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees got to extend career records of his own as he is the NFL’s all-time passing touchdown leader with 544 touchdown passes. The hall of fame QB broke Peyton Manning’s record of 539 last week in their 34-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Brees is also the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader with 76,844.
Thomas entered his week 16 contest with 133 receptions needing only 11 to break the record set by the former Colts hall of fame wide out. Thomas has caught over 100 passes in his first three seasons with the Saints and he recorded 104 receptions in his rookie season in 2017 and would later improve his mark with 125 passes in 2018.
Thomas has proven to be arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL as he continues to put up Pro Bowl worthy numbers as the Saints look to go on another Super Bowl run in the twilight of Drew Brees’ hall of fame career. Last season they were robbed of a trip to Super Bowl LIII as the officials botched a blatant pass interference call that should have given the Saints a first down with the game tied at 20 apiece. Instead the Saints had to settle for a field goal, the Rams would tie the game and would later punch their ticket to the big dance in overtime. In 2017 the Saints fell victim to “The Minneapolis Miracle” as Vikings star receiver Stephon Diggs caught a tipped pass and ran it in for a game winning score breaking the hearts of Saints fans all across the country.
This season the Saints look to right the wrongs of past playoff misfortunes as they hope to finish the 2019 regular season strong with a win against the division rival Carolina Panthers on the road to finish 13-3 for the second year in a row, and for the fourth time in franchise history. A win and a Packers loss in week 17 will guarantee the Saints a first round bye. If they are victorious on Sunday they will be two wins away from Super Bowl LIV in Miami where the Saints won their first Super Bowl ten years ago when they defeated NFL MVP Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts 31-17.