How has age affected Drew Brees?


Veteran quarterback Drew Brees is coming to the final stage of his career. Brees has been a monster throughout his career, but how “impressive” has the 37-year-old been despite his age? More importantly how is Brees going to hold up in the late part of his career?

Let’s look at how he stacks up with the five other quarterbacks with the most wins in the NFL that are active. The quarterbacks we’ll be comparing Brees to are Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers.

The variable I want to focus on is age.  A QB is said to hit their prime in their late 20’s. By this point a quarterback has a couple of years of experience in the league, but is still young enough to still be agile in-game. “Elite” quarterbacks are said to defy this normal pattern, and Brees is no different. But how does Brees stack up to the “elite” group?

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At the age of 30, Brees led the league with the highest QB rating in 2009. In the same year, Brees had the equivalent of a “perfect game” in baseball. On November 30th, 2009, Brees finished the game with a perfect QB rating of 158.3. He passed for 371 yards, and five touchdowns against the New England Patriots.

In the last 10 years, Brees has maintained a 67% completion rate, higher than any of the other quarterbacks.

I have combined the stats of the other “elite” QB’s, and will be comparing their averages to Brees’ stats, based on age. Let’s visualize our data.

Hover over the lines to see more information.

At first glance a couple of things stand out.

  • Brees found success in his career after moving to New Orleans. His stats have all been above the average of the other elite quarterbacks since his move to the Saints at the age of 27.
  • Aging has had close to no effect on Drew. His stats have all been steady since going to the New Orleans Saints, and he’s shown no indication of a “dip” that can be attributed to his age. As a matter of fact, Brees has potential to throw for more than 5,000 yards this year.

*Disclaimer: Brees’ stats at age 37 are current. His stats only include the 10 of 16 games that have been played this season.

In short, Brees has plenty of gas in the tank. From his stats alone, Brees has the potential to do better than his competition, despite his age. With Brees under center the Saints will continue to have a dominant passing offence. Who Dat Nation has nothing to worry about so long as Brees stays healthy.