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Everett: Brees is one of the best ever

| Thursday, October 25, 2018

Let’s talk about the G.O.A.T.

No, I’m not talking about basketball. I’ll leave the Jordan/LeBron debate to others. I’m talking about NFL quarterbacks.

Who’s the best quarterback of all time? Many say it’s current New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, others still hold that it’s legendary San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana. Others believe that it’s former Colts and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, while still others believe that current Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers is the best to ever do it.

These are the four quarterbacks that I hear mentioned when discussing who is the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, and one can certainly make a strong argument for every one of them. However, I argue that a fifth quarterback should be added to the conversation.

Current New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

This isn’t an argument that Brees is clearly the greatest quarterback of all time, but rather is meant to highlight a largely underappreciated career (in my estimation) and to update casual fans on what he has accomplished — a list which merits him to be considered among the greatest of all time.

This is Brees’ 18th year in the league and 17th as a starting quarterback. He’s led the Saints since 2006 after spending five years with the San Diego Chargers. He won the Super Bowl with the Saints in 2010 and was named Super Bowl MVP. He’s been to 11 Pro-Bowls, won Offensive Player of the Year two times and has led the NFL in passing seven different years.

Oh, and he’s pretty durable — having only missed one game due to injury his entire NFL career.

However, it’s his career records that he currently holds — as well as those that he has a shot at passing — that truly serve to make one appreciate the efficient, consistent and extremely productive career of Brees. Let’s make a list of just some of the prestigious records he owns.

During Week Five against Washington this season, Brees passed Manning to become the NFL’s all-time leading passer, having currently thrown for 72,315 yards. Crazy.

Career completion percentage (67.1 percent).

Consecutive seasons with 4,500 passing yards (seven, 2010-16).

Single-season passing yards per game (342.3 yards, 2011; tied with Manning in 2013).

Career completions (6,302).

Most seasons leading the NFL in passing yards (seven).

Most career 400-yard passing games (16).

Most career 300-yard passing games (112).

Consecutive games with a touchdown pass (54).

Most 5,000-yard passing seasons (five).

There are also significant records that Brees, who turns 40 this January, could pass by the time he eventually hangs up the cleats, including career passing attempts, career passing touchdowns (he’s fourth all-time with 501 — Brady has 504 while Manning has the most at 539) and most starts in NFL history.

Statistically, Brees is right there with the best of them. Nobody has been as efficient and consistent under center as Brees in the history of the NFL — that’s what you want from a quarterback, right?

He’s won a Super Bowl, and he’s hunting for another this season. The Saints are currently leading the NFC South with a 5-1 record, and Brees has shown no signs of slowing up, throwing for 1,870 yards, 13 touchdowns so far and having completed an insane 77.3 percent of his passes, which would easily top the record for single-season completion percentage of 72 percent, set by Brees himself last season.

Drew Brees is great. He’s a great role model and a better football player. In fact, he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. In fact, given how durable, consistent and efficient he’s been — he may very well go down as the greatest when it’s all said and done.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Joe Everett

Joe is a senior PLS major and hails from the thriving metropolis of South Bend, IN. In addition to formerly serving as Sports Editor at The Observer, Joe is a RA in Stanford Hall and a past champion of the Observer's Fantasy Football league.

Contact Joe