NEW ORLEANS — Michael Thomas brought back one of the most memorable touchdown celebrations in NFL history on Sunday, channeling former Saints receiver Joe Horn from 2003 when Thomas retrieved a hidden cellphone from around the bottom of the goalpost.
Oh, and he did it after a 72-yard touchdown catch that gave the Saints a 45-35 lead over the Los Angeles Rams and gave Thomas 12 catches for 211 yards.
That wound up as the final score in the battle for NFC supremacy.
Thomas was penalized for the celebration, which was obviously premeditated — though he couldn’t have known he would pull out the old-school flip phone in such a big moment.
Thomas’ catch and run was the biggest play on an afternoon when several of the NFL’s biggest offensive stars were on display. Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns and running back Alvin Kamara scored three touchdowns to outduel Jared Goff, Todd Gurley II & Co.
And now the Saints (7-1) have emerged as the NFC’s team to beat after handing the Rams (8-1) their first loss of the season.
Thomas’ 211 receiving yards were the most in a single game in Saints history, though his 12 catches weren’t even a personal best. He had 16 catches in Week 1 and 12 more in Week 2 this season.
Thomas, a second-round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2016, has shared his desire to be considered among the NFL’s top receivers, saying both through social media and a recent conversation with ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he feels like he still has something to prove.
Brees, meanwhile, has now completed 19 TD passes of 70-plus yards in his career, breaking a tie with Eli Manning for the most by any player since the 1970 merger.
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