All signs are pointing to Drew Brees’ return to the New Orleans Saints against the Arizona Cardinals, at least if Brees has his way.
After sitting out five games with a torn ligament in his throwing thumb, Drew Brees is already ready to return to action for the New Orleans Saints. If the recent news is any indication, then Brees might just be under center this Sunday.
Brees has made it very clear that his plan is to start Sunday. Ultimately, it is left in the hands of Sean Payton in the team, but Brees is likely going to tell them that he is ready to go and the Saints might not be able to keep him out of the game.
This is a dangerous decision to make as Brees would essentially be getting two extra weeks of time off if he does not play this game with the bye week next week. We all know the kind of competitor that Brees is, though, and it is no surprise that he wants in this game.
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If you are not familiar with the Arizona Cardinals then you may not know what to expect out of Brees in this game. There probably won’t be much dust that he needs to knock off as he was not out an extended period of time and he stayed in game shape.
Six weeks is nothing to a Hall of Fame quarterback. His performance is going to be decided more on the defense that he is facing.
The counter for the Saints is that the offensive line has been stout thus far this year. The offensive line did a wonderful job in protecting Teddy Bridgewater against the Saints last week. They will have their hands full, and they will likely let some guys through the cracks, but they will do better than most offensive lines.
The problem with the Cardinals’ defense is not the pass-rush, it is everything else in defending the pass. Despite having Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals’ secondary has been poor this year.
The Miami Dolphins are the only other team in the league that only has one interception thus far this season and it came last week. The Cardinals had no interceptions prior to Week 7.
Quarterbacks, especially the pocket quarterbacks that they have faced, have thrived against Arizona. Arizona ranks 25th in the league in passing yards allowed, allowing 263.3 per game, and allowed Matthew Stafford, Kyle Allen, Andy Dalton and Matt Ryan all to have big games.
Like Brees, these are not guys that rely on their feet as a big part of their repertoire—guys that sit in the pocket and make throws. Stafford completed 27-45 for 385 yards and three touchdowns, Allen 19-26 for 261 yards and four touchdowns, Dalton 27-38 with 262 yards and two touchdowns and Ryan 30-36 with 356 yards and four touchdowns.
So what should we expect from Brees? Honestly, I don’t think we see a game as good as Ryan had against the Cardinals. The New Orleans Saints will jump out to an early lead in this game and then start deploying a run-heavy offense to milk the clock, even if Alvin Kamara is out.
Brees will be effective but will not be insane and it will be clear that the Saints are being precautious with him before the bye. He will complete 25 of 30 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
That is a great game for most quarterbacks, for Brees, it is another day in the office. It will be more than enough to get the New Orleans Saints the victory.