NEW ORLEANS – Drew Brees has heard his critics getting louder this season.
The talk might be about the 36-year-old quarterback's advancing age. Or his ability to bounce back from a Week 2 throwing-shoulder injury. Or his $20 million annual salary causing the Saints undue salary-cap pressure.
Yet Brees contends he can play as well as ever, and Sunday against the New York Giants (4-4), he sure did.
Brees passed for career highs of 511 yards and seven touchdowns, and recently signed Kai Forbath kicked a 50-yard field goal as time ran out, giving the Saints (4-4) a 52-49 victory in a game with a record 13 scoring passes.
"It's not like we came out [Sunday] with the intent to set a few records just to shut some people up," said Brees, who went 40-for- 50. "Our mind-set is, every time we step on the field, we have a chance to do something pretty special."
The 101 points tied for third most in an NFL game. Both offenses combined for 1,030 yards.
"Never been a part of something like that," Brees said. "Pretty wild."
New York's Eli Manning connected on a career-high six touchdown passes, three to fellow New Orleans native Odell Beckham Jr.
"Their offense is always high-powered. I thought it might be a day where we were going to have to score some points," Manning said. "I didn't know how many it would take. Obviously, the offense did some good things."
The Saints seem to be hitting their stride, having won four of five after an 0-3 start that ignited all kinds of predictions about the demise of the Sean Payton-Brees era.
Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead each had two touchdown catches. Brees' other three scoring passes went to Marques Colston, Ben Watson and C.J. Spiller, the last to tie the score at 49 with 36 seconds left.
After the Saints then forced the Giants to punt, Forbath's first field-goal attempt with New Orleans, which signed him before last week's victory at Indianapolis, tied his career long.
"I've been fortunate to get in situations where it's come down to a kick," Forbath said.