2017 Grade: .695

2017 3rd Down: .425

Week 1 at Minnesota: New Orleans shortcomings at every level of the roster, besides the backfield, showed up again on Monday. Lack of protection and the loss of a game-breaking receiver be damned, Brees was sharp again. His accuracy was supreme, he carried out his fakes like the professional he is and dropped some absolute seeds in this game. His stats weren’t gaudy because they couldn’t run the ball or protect, and we’re constantly behind the chains – but that’s what this site is all about, separating the quarterback from his team’s performance.

Week 2 vs. New England: Everyone knows how great Drew Brees is, but his surrounding cast makes him an afterthought. His touch and timing on rhythm routes is still the best in the business. He’s rarely off-target and has an exceptional trajectory to his deep passes. He has just five negative plays on 59 registered drop backs this season. Unfortunately, for this team, that’s still too much.

Week 3 at Carolina: Drew Brees has just seven negative plays on 88 drop backs this season. He carved up the Panthers using all levels of the field, with a variety of pass catchers, from a number of different formations. His accuracy and deception are deadly and he continues to play the position at an elite level week-in, and week-out.

Week 4 at Miami (London:) Drew Brees does so well in this project for two reasons: 1.) He never makes any mistakes (nine negative plays out of 122 drop backs) and, 2.) He hits on the shot plays built into the structure of the offense. His quick release mitigates the pass protection issues the Saints currently have and his accuracy sets his receivers up for big gains after the catch. At 38, he’s still a top shelf quarterback.

Week 6 at Detroit: When the Saints run the ball effectively, there is no stopping this offense. Brees doesn’t make mistakes, and his attention to detail makes the play-action game as deadly as any in football. With all the defensive scores, Brees was able to play close to the vest and be a distributor more than a game-breaker. Brees has been extremely consistent this year. His game scores are: .700, .621, .793, .706, .655.

2016: Deception and Dominance

From the eye in the sky, Drew Brees is a picturesque quarterback. From that angle, his pocket and defense manipulation, his eccentric pump-fakes, pinpoint accuracy and flawless mechanics make it no surprise that he racks up gaudy numbers every season.

Then the camera pans to the field-level and you’ll see a quarterback that is six feet tall on his tippy-toes. It hasn’t prevented Brees from cementing his status as a future member of Canton, but it does lead to the lone, two weaknesses in his game.

Brees doesn’t always see downfield targets uncovering and will take a check-down. When the pocket gets chaotic, he sometimes stays in too long taking his eyes off the routes taking an unnecessary sack.

That is the end of the list of bad things I have to say about Drew Brees – he’s phenomenal at his craft.

His accuracy is on-par with that of a United States drone-strike and it is rivaled only by his preparation. His dissertation of the Saints complex offense would stretch hundreds upon hundreds of pages. The number of formations, spacing, splits, motion, principals and route-concepts Brees and Sean Payton use is overwhelming. This is why it’s so common for the Saints to put together scoring-drives in under two minutes.

Brees is as good as it gets when it comes to anticipating routes opening up – which comes as no surprise with his cerebral aptitude being what it is.

What Drew Brees lacks in zip and velocity, he more than makes up for with that anticipation and touch. The timing and precision of the Saints is an absolute marvel to watch.

The way he works through progressions it’s as though he has a bird’s eye view of the field. He can snap his head from one boundary to the other and instantly knows exactly where his man is supposed to be – and the ball comes out quick.

Brees is always squared up with his target and in a position to throw. Regardless of the pressure, he keeps his base firm and has a quick release.

He moves defenses with his eyes, but more so with his ball-fakes. The slightest shoulder shake often has defensive backs biting on the underneath route option freeing up his throw – and he rarely misses these throws in addition to perfection on the short and intermediate game.

Brees gives Aaron Rodgers competition for the best back shoulder ball in the game. Often times, his receivers don’t have to decelerate and barely have to extend their arms keeping the defender guessing as to when the ball is going to arrive.

Even though Brees’ accuracy and pre-snap recognition tapered off a tad after the Saints were eliminated from playoff contention, it is criminal that the Saints are perpetually 7-9. This further proves that the quarterback is far from the only factor in determining the outcomes of football games. If that were the case, the Saints would be registering win-totals in the teens annually.

Stat Sheet

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