With age creeping up on him and an injury earlier in the season, many have been left wondering if this is Drew Brees last season on the New Orleans Saints.
This season has served as the end of an era for some of our favorite quarterbacks that we grew up with. Eli Manning lost his job, Ben Roethlisberger is injured, Philip Rivers appears to be on the way out, Tom Brady is looking every part of 42, even Andrew Luck retired. The same can be said about New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees.
Brees suffered a torn ligament in his throwing thumb and missed five weeks. The Saints managed to rally behind a strong performance by Teddy Bridgewater to go 5-0 without Brees (not counting the game the was injured).
Brees has gone 4-1 since and has had some moments where his age looks apparent. It is easy to look at his performance in front of a national audience on Thanksgiving and come to the conclusion that maybe the end is near. Brees completed only 18 of his 30 passes for 184 yards with one touchdown, which was a touch-pass touchdown to Taysom Hill.
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That, mixed with his injury and his contract expiring this season has led a lot of people to believe that this may be the last year for Brees in New Orleans, especially with Bridgewater’s success under center.
If the New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl then I would not be surprised whatsoever if Brees hangs it up and retires on top. However, even if he does retire, he will be doing to with some gas still in the tank.
Despite his (fluke) injury and how his play has been perceived, Brees has actually proven to us that he has enough to be a starting quarterback for at least one more season.
The start of his “poor” play started at the end of last season and carried into the playoffs when he and the Saints offense could not finish off the Los Angeles Rams. However, in his last 16 games (not counting the injury game), Brees has been great.
In his last 16, he has 4,087 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 72.91 percent of his passes. Sure, it might not be the 5,000 yards he averaged from 2011 to 2016, but those numbers are still better than most quarterbacks.
Only seven quarterbacks in the NFL last season had 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, Brees ironically was not one of them. Of those seven, only one was single-digits in interceptions, Matt Ryan.
In fact, over his last 16, Brees has accomplished something that even he has never accomplished in an actual season. Since 2010, there are five players in the league that has had a season with over 4,000 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions. Brady four times, Aaron Rodgers four times, Big Ben, Ryan twice and Russell Wilson.
So while this is split between two seasons, Brees has been playing in his last 16 at a level that only the best of the best have accomplished, but he should retire after this season?
Even if the New Orleans Saints want to move on, Brees has plenty left in the tank and should still be a starting quarterback next year unless he is the one that decides to pull the plug.