After a summer of greatest all time lists, it’s time to move Drew Brees from the most accurate QB of all time conversations to the greatest of all time, or GOAT, conversations.
This summer was the summer of the “greatest of all time” debate across all sports. It seemed like every time you turned on the TV to a sports network they were discussing who was the “G.O.A.T..” While other sports had a multitude of answers to that question, football had one: Tom Brady.
After his heroic comeback performance in Super Bowl LI, the MVP made a strong case to be given this title. I’m here to save you from what sports analysts call the “relevancy trap” and point you in the right direction for the future.
It’s a trap
The “relevancy trap” is when someone makes a list of all-timers and tend to weigh heavily on the last greatest event. As seen this summer, many people began to place Tom Brady at the top of the list for all time QBs. This was because the last image in their memory of great QBs is him lifting the Lombardi trophy.
Another area where the relevancy effect shows its full colors is during an Olympics season. During these seasons, Olympic athletes show up on lists of the best athletes ever. Then the next year they magically vanish from that very same list. We love to remember the last event and support our conclusions with what we last saw, but the case for the best QB of all time is no joke. For this, we have to take a step back and look at the numbers.
The proof is in the pudding
Coming off his second best season in passing yards (5,208 which still lead the NFL) and fourth best season in passing touchdowns (37), 38-year-old Drew Brees is showing no signs of slowing down entering a contract year. His past positive seasons played a major part in keeping him atop the list of current QBs in career passing yards and passing touchdowns. Still not convinced that there’s a better QB out there than TB12?
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As stated, Drew Brees is two years younger than Brady. However, Brees has only played in 4 fewer games (237 to 233). This means that after Brady retires, there is a high probability Brees will catch him just by playing one more season. Brees already has the best career completion percentage of 66.6% of all time (the guy literally averages a completion 2 out of every 3 throws) compared to Brady’s 63.8%.
He also, as mentioned, ranks above Brady in career passing yards and touchdowns. Not to mention, he sits third on that list behind Brett Favre and Peyton Manning who are both retired. Furthering the idea that Brees is chasing their heels and has a high probability to catch those two. It wouldn’t surprise me if Brees led the board in career passing yards, percentage, and touchdowns when it’s all over.
While Brady has a higher passer rating and fewer interceptions than Brees right now, it will be interesting to see where they end up when they both decide to hang up the cleats. Regardless, both are elite players who are sure to be Hall of Famers and we are lucky to still have them around.
The only problem for Brees is that he has won 4 fewer Superbowls than Brady. However, when looking at the Patriots franchise compared to the Saints, some would argue that it could be the system they have in Foxborough that keeps them at the top, not necessarily the play of Brady. Also, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett shining within the system doesn’t do any justice to the brilliance of Brady.
Don’t get me wrong, Brady plays an integral part in every game and he clearly is a top tier talent historically. But when the Saints win there’s no doubt that one of the major reasons behind the victory is Brees’ play.
If one is only considering Super Bowls, it’s possible to argue that Brees’ one ring was far more impressive than any of Brady’s. Brees has lead New Orleans from the darkness to contention, and it is time we start paying Brees the respect he deserves. If Brady can win one at 37 and 39, and be considered a favorite for one when he is 40, why can’t Brees when he is 38? He has the stats to do it, and this year he may have the best pieces in place since 2011.
The waiting game
With his completion percentage, it is a no brainer that Brees will go down statistically as one of the best QBs ever to play the game. So with that being said, all that I am asking you is that once Brady retires, be sure to keep watch on Brees and be ready to realize that there could be a new GOAT in town.