The NFL offseason is a boon for articles that will rank everything from best team to not make the playoffs to the top free agents of the offseason. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports may be one of the most controversial when it comes to writing these ranking lists, and Mr. Prisco is at it again. According to his list, Drew Brees is no longer a top 5 QB in the NFL.
Recently Prisco posted a ranking of every potential starting NFL quarterback for the 2016 season. The most interesting tidbit for Saints fans might be that All Pro QB Drew Brees was listed as the sixth best starting quarterback in the NFL, behind such names as Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Carson Palmer.
Prisco rationalizes his opinion on Brees:
"He’s older and not the same guy he used to be, but he’s close. He led the NFL in passing yards, continuing to roll up big numbers."
What is most confusing is that Prisco seems to give every other injured or aging quarterback the benefit of the doubt except Brees. It was widely speculated that Drew would even be traded in 2015. His age and injured right shoulder hindered him from performing well in the upcoming season, right? All he did was lead the NFL in passing yards(even though he missed one game due to injury) with 4,870 yards and trailed only Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins in completion percentage with 68.3 percent.
No Kirk, we don’t like that!
Brees always seems like the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL quarterbacks to the national sports media. Consistently ranked outside the top 10 among all time NFL QBs.
He gets no respect. No other QB had more wins with a worse supporting defense in 2015, the New Orleans Saints defense allowed a league worse 29.8 points per game.
Pro Football Reference grades Drew as the second best active player in Approximate Value in his career. He might trail Tom Brady by a wide margin, but then again Tom Brady is a four-time Super Bowl winner and the leader in wins among active QBs. Ben Roethlisberger tops out the Approximate Value QB ranking at number seven while the great Aaron Rodgers sits at 10. Neither of those two cracked the top 20 in 2015 among all graded players.
While Approximate Value is only one aggregate of player stats, it is not the only one in which Brees provides impressive numbers. Analysis website Pro Football Focus gave Drew a +33.7 passing grade in 2014, second only to Aaron Rodgers. While ESPN calculated Brees total QB rating as third best in 2015.
Brees is not just an accumulator of passing stats, he is the unrivaled leader of the entire New Orleans Saints team. On the field he is leading pregame huddles and off the field he is helping teammates in offseason workouts. Brees may even go down in the annals of NFL history as the greatest ‘prime time’ quarterback ever averaging 2.3 TDs and a passer efficiency rating of 103.5 on Monday nights alone. Those numbers are historically better than Payton Manning and Tom Brady.
No disrespect to Pete Prisco, he is a fine journalist and exceptionally good at what he does (making people upset). However, if you are going to give Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger a pass for having an injury or a less than impressive 2015 season, can’t you show the same respect for the QB who has done it longer with less support?