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Colour commentary: Drew Brees is the greatest of all time

by Nicholas Di Giovanni October 30, 2018
Colour commentary: Drew Brees is the greatest of all time

Saints quarterback has done more with less than counterparts

Drew Brees is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. There, I said it—but not enough people do. Everyone is quick to call Tom Brady the greatest quarterback, and that’s because of his five Super Bowl rings. Brees only has one, but he’s still a better quarterback than Brady.

On Oct. 8, Brees surpassed Peyton Manning for most passing yards in NFL history with 72,435 yards and counting. At the time of writing, Brady had 68,035 career passing yards, well behind Brees, with four more career games than him. Brees also has a higher completion rate, 67.2 per cent versus 64.0, and more completed passes: 6,410 against Brady’s 5,799. Brady has the edge for touchdown passes with 504, while Brees is right behind at 502.

Statistics aside, what makes Brees so great is how he’s accomplished so much with so little. He was cast aside by the San Diego Chargers in 2006 after injuring his throwing shoulder. An unpromising New Orleans Saints team took the risk on Brees and his shoulder, and in return, he pulled the Hurricane Katrina-damaged city to a Super Bowl title in 2010. When he won that Super Bowl, he carried the Saints on his back with a passer rating of 109.6, the second-highest in his career so far.

Throughout his time with the Saints, Brees has never had a proper defence to support him. During the Super Bowl-winning season, the Saints’s defence ranked 25th in yards against. Since Brees signed in 2006, the New Orleans defence finished in the top half of the league only three times. Meanwhile, Brady has had the luxury of having a top-10 defence for all five of his Super Bowl titles. If you put Brees on the New England Patriots, with the defence and players Brady has played with, Brees could have had five rings too, but instead, he only has one.

The argument that Super Bowl titles define a good quarterback is ridiculous. Jim Kelly and Dan Marino are two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and neither ever won a Super Bowl title. When people talk about the great QBs in the game, Brady and Manning are constantly brought up, with Brees often cast to the side.

What makes Brees so special is his height disadvantage. At a “small” 6’0”, Brees is your atypical quarterback and can’t look past his offensive lineman the same way his taller counterparts do. But he makes up for his size with his vision and intelligence. While watching Brees play, you see him stand on his tip-toes when he’s in the pocket, and he’s always checking his options for his best available receiver; that’s why he’s so accurate.

It’s time to give Drew Brees the credit he deserves.

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