Drew Brees has 18 NFL seasons under his now-fabled surgically-repaired throwing shoulder. The Saints quarterback was awarded the award for Best Record-Breaking Performance during Wednesday’s ESPY Awards on ESPN. Make no mistake, Brees isn’t done breaking records yet.
On October 8, he hit a wide-open Tre’Quan Smith on a 62-yard touchdown toss to surpass Peyton Manning for passing yards on the all-time list. This was the moment he was honored for at the ESPY Awards. He tops the leaderboard with 74,437 passing yards, ahead of both Manning and Brett Favre.
The 40-year-old patron saint of New Orleans has a chance to add his name to more vaunted lists in 2019, with Brees sitting only 19 touchdown throws away from surpassing Peyton Manning (539) on the all-time list. Brees is also just 387 pass attempts away from leaping over Brett Favre (10,169). According to NFL.com’s Jeremy Bergman, both marks are easily breakable this season as Brees has averaged 420.1 completions and 28.8 touchdowns per season for his career.
Those prolific numbers haven’t stopped the doubters from knocking on his door. The nay-sayers at Pro Football Talk did a deep dive on Brees’ production last season and suggested that he was “showing the signs of age late in the year” and reminded everyone that “Father Time catches up with every player eventually.”
In 2018, Brees was an MVP candidate, with 29 touchdowns and only two interceptions through Week 12. But then he struggled over his last four games, managing just three touchdown passes and three interceptions.
That’s reminiscent of Peyton Manning, who began 2014 with 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his first 12 games, and then had three touchdowns and six interceptions in his last four games. In 2015 Manning fell apart, and he retired after the season. Brees is already older now than Manning was when he played his last game.
No matter his age, Brees showed he had plenty left in the tank in 2018. He threw for 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns against five interceptions while leading the Saints to the NFC Championship Game, literally one controversial non-call from advancing to the Super Bowl. According to Bleacher Report, Brees is still the No. 2 “Franchise Cornerstone” in the NFL after the website praised his unparalleled leadership, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2006.
Is Dak Prescott the next Drew Brees?
This is not a typo. As Dak Prescott awaits a mega-rich payday from owner Jerry Jones — one that may rival Carson Wentz’s estimated $32 million per year — many in Dallas have started to weigh in on where the Cowboys quarterback ranks in the NFL. His stats fare favorably to peers like Wentz and the Rams’ Jared Goff. However, a columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently compared Prescott to Brees. According to Mac Engel, Prescott possesses the same “genuine desire to be a role model.”
Like the future Hall of Fame quarterback in New Orleans, Prescott is a sincere guy who is genuine in his desire to be a role model and to help and inspire others. You may not be crazy about the way he plays, but you will seldom be disappointed in how he acts.
Since the moment the Cowboys drafted Prescott in 2016, he has not changed other than he has become the starting quarterback of the most visible franchise in North American sports. To his credit, and this is not easy, Dak Prescott has remained Dak Prescott.
Prescott has remained mum on his contract negotiations and peer-to-peer comparisons, instead choosing to focus on his offseason charity work and youth football camps. Meanwhile, Brees has ignored all the distractions and people telling him he’s too old. The Saints are favorites to get back to the NFC Championship Game and win it. Their quarterback has been watching the Rocky movies with his three boys this summer and embracing the underdog role that helped the Philadelphia Eagles win a Super Bowl.
Remember, Brees has at least two more records to break. He is also trying to join a short list of NFL quarterbacks that have won multiple rings, including one-upping his buddies Eli Manning and Peyton Manning who have two apiece.
“I just want to win another championship. I surely think we’re capable,” Brees told Rebecca Tobak. “We’ve got a lot of work to do; we’ve got a ton of work to do. But there’s a great sense of urgency to improve every day. If we can take that mindset then yes, we have a great chance.”