Everyone wants to go out on top. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is doing his part to make sure that he does just that.
If anyone wants to win as badly as Drew Brees does, it would be hard to make a case for it. Late in the fourth quarter in which the New Orleans Saints were leading the Chicago Bears 21-3, the veteran quarterback was facing a 4th a goal from the 1.
Looking to put the final nail in the coffin, the soon to be 42-year old called his own number in one of his patented Fluer-De-Leaps over the goal line. Brees leaped up, extended his arms as far as he could for the apparent score.
Replay officials reviewed and confirmed that he was just short of the line and the touchdown was wiped off the board.
The message remained though. Brees was willing to do whatever he had to do in order to win. Whether that meant exposing his tender ribs after weeks removed from fracturing 11 of them, Brees would leave it all out there on the field.
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On the field, he was the master surgeon he’s always been. He finished the game an efficient 28-for-39 (71%), with 265 yards passing and two touchdowns. The Saints controlled the time of possession by nearly 18 minutes and more than doubled the number of first downs the Bears had.
They remained on the field by converting 11 of 18 3rd down conversions. Even if the score may not have indicated it, the Saints dominated this game on both sides of the ball.
For the prize of advancing, the Saints will host division rival Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs. This will be the 3rd meeting for these teams this season, with the Saints winning both matchups by double digits.
The Saints open up as a 3.5-point favorite at first look.
There have been many whispers that this will Brees’ last season in the NFL. Coming off back-to-back years with missing multiple games due to injury, the Hall of Fame signal-caller knows with age in the NFL comes an increased risk of sustained injury.
Brees has thought about life after football as he has already committed to a long term deal to broadcast football games for NBC.
He also knows he is not just doing this for himself. Recently, when talking with a group of reporters about his motivation these days, he had this to say,
"“All I know is this. I didn’t come back to play this season for myself. I came back for my team. I came back for the city, I came back for the organization. That’s why I’m here.”"
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are just 3 games away from achieving their ultimate goal. A goal Brees would do anything to obtain. If he does, he can ride off into the sunset as cool as the “Brees” he came into town with.