Bad: Drew Brees’ Return
There was a lot of excitement that stemmed from Brees’ return to the lineup, but that was quelled early.
In fact, Brees’ first pass was an underthrown pass into triple coverage that should have been picked off, and honestly, he could have easily had three interceptions in this game. Both quarterbacks played with fire, but when you’re facing the Chiefs, your margin of error is too low to make such crushing mistakes.
Yes, Brees admitted to not being healthy, but the fact that he was THIS rusty was alarming. His accuracy was clearly off – 44% completion rate – and strangely, his decision-making was an issue. Can that all be blamed on the injury?
Either way, any less arm strength from Brees puts him well below the threshold for an NFL quarterback, and at that point, his decision-making has to flawless.
By playoff time, maybe Brees will be back in shape. However, this certainly looks like a multi-week process, and the Saints are running out of time.
An average performance from Brees probably allows them to win this game, and if he can’t get back into game shape fast enough, the Saints’ season outlook, and the offense as a whole, will continue to trend down in an uncontrollable fashion.
A better performance on Christmas against the Vikings is critical for there to be comfortable in his ability to play at a high level in the playoffs; his cracked ribs are clearly still hampering him significantly.