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Response to NFL.com "Unpopular Opinions: Drew Brees is most underrated player ever"

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Posted 10-08-2018 at 03:59 AM by jeanpierre
Updated 10-08-2018 at 06:55 PM by jeanpierre

If I'm doing a Top Ten List of GOAT Quarterbacks, these are some of the things that I give weight to in my mind when you factor where Brees places on such a list...

First, Brees had an advantage of the Irsay/Colts post-AFC loss meltdown in 2004/2005 of pass defense rules tweaks; while Brees' numbers jumped here, they went stratospheric post-rules changes...

By comparison, somebody like Marino had passing numbers that no one came closed to until the changes in pass defense brought on by the malcontent Irsay...

Second, you gotta consider game winning drives to really be one of the more defining statistics as no other stat shows a better impact by a player; these are both 4Q Comebacks and Kill-shot drives...

Now here you will find that Brees is tied with Favre for third on the list at 43, behind only Peyton Manning (54) and Dan Marino (47)...

Source: Pro Football Reference - Game Winning Drives

Third, one sabremetric I really like that Baseball has and Football needs it WAR(P) Wins Above Replacement (Player)...

Brees has been notably durable in his career, including early years of less QB protective rules, his teams have never had to go more than a game without him...

Whereas, Brady's 2008 Patriots still went 11-5 when he missed 15 games that season; but when Manning missed the 2011 season, the Colts collapsed...

So while, hopefully, we won't get to look at this value till Brees retires, when you look at other franchises without their GOAT candidates, many still did well...

Montana, as awesome as he was, was easily replaced by Young who also won a Superbowl with the Bill Walsh juggernaut 49ers...

A 38yo Marino in '99 was 5-6, the team finished 9-7; the Dolphins however went 11-5 in the following two years...

While many lauded John Elway, the comeback kid, or Mr. Clutch, his Superbowl collapses were as epic and he didn't win a Superbowl until he was second to a run-heavy (Terrell Davis) offense...

Then there are the passing numbers, actual documented production, and this is where Brees stands out...

Career Passing Yards - Manning (71,940), Favre (71,838), Brees (71,740), Brady (67,418), Marino (61,361), the next is Eli Manning (52,737)...

Career Passes Completed - Brees (6,344), Favre (6,300), Manning (6,125), Brady (5,750), Marino (4,967), the next is Eli Manning (4,536)...

Career Passing Touchdowns - Manning (539), Favre (508), Brady (500), Brees (496), Marino (420), the next is Rivers (353)...

Career Passing Interceptions - Brady (48th -166), Brees (16th - 228), Manning (9th, 251), Marino (8th, 252), Favre (1st, 336)...

Career Sacked - Favre (1st -525), Elway (2nd - 516), Roethlisberger (4th - 484), Brady (8th -458), Brees (16th - 384), Manning (47th, 303), Marino (58th, 270)...

So, as you can start to see, before you bring on the Superbowl Rings argument, Brees stacks up favorably statistically in career numbers...

Now, I've watched football intensely, following statistics, collecting cards, since I was a very young boy, this would be my Top 10 list based on what I've seen and what I know - here it is...

JP's Top 10 All-Time NFL Passers, Quarterbacks

1 - Dan Marino

He put up the the obscene numbers in a not-so-friendly era of passing; passing records are falling ever couple of years the past decade, no one touched Marino's records for over twenty years! Marino's release from snap-to-pass was the quickest ever in the NFL; a read/pass QB competition was even created at the ProBowl to better show how much better he was than his peers; with better talent, he'd easily won five Superbowls; and the only quarteback to shred, shred the '85 Bears defense, most dominant defense ever - and the first bet I ever lost...

2 - Peyton Manning

In the modern era of play-calling coordinators, this throw-back was still calling plays at the line and his defensive reads rarely failed him with the exception of Bill Belichick defenses and a bad read vs Tracy Porter; the Colts don't even have winning records without him; only one on this list to win Superbowls with two different teams; had four (4) of the top 10 QBR seasons era, only one of two QBs with multiple best QBR seasons...

3 - Drew Brees

The most prolific passer on this list, he'd be ranked higher if he'd thown more total career PaTD (even though he also owns record for most-consecutive-games-with-PaTD) and less interceptions; two more Superbowls wouldn't have hurt his cause; and, other than Manning, he's the only other QB on this list with Best QBR Top 10 seasons ever with two (2); will own Career Passing Yards, Career Passing Completions by mid-2018 season; despite five (5) 5000 PaYd seasons, no one else on list close, he's never been a League MVP...

4 - Brett Favre

Favre was the ultimate riverboat gambler who's decision-making was less than impressive; but no one played with more heart (except maybe Brees), grit, toughness, and games started/played than Favre. Knew him as a young teenager on the MS Gulf Coast where I spent my summers. My first draft man crush, friends laughed at me when I wanted the Saints to draft him in 1990; I cited things like only QB to be Auburn and Alabama in the same year and did it six weeks after having 30inches of small intestine removed post-MVA; tough, tough, tough...

5 - Tom Brady

Game Manager often gets a negative connotation as a don't-lose-the-game attachment, but it's hard to ignore Brady's success as a passer when you look at Career PaTD:Int ratio; and then there's the 5-3 SuperBowl Record - that's eight (8) Superbowl appearances; but again, he's been the beneficiary of having Bill Belichick as HC and having 13 Top 10 scoring defenses in 17 of his seasons; and while that comeback vs the Falcons was amazing, it was the Falcons...

6 - Joe Montana

The only pairing of Head Coach:Quarterback better than Payton:Brees was Walsh:Montana. The 80's 49ers were in every single game. You never counted them out (80's/90's Saints fans can attest); and no one was cooler on the big stage than Montana; and Montana was the proto-type of Bill Walsh's innovative West Coast Offense corrected the flaw of the Air Coryell offense (mentioned later) and tamed those innovatiosn back to control the time of possessions, resting the 49ers defense, winning Championships...

7 - John Elway

Used to have a lot of bias against Elway because of the way he, his Father, and agent refused the Colts and insisted playing out west in Denver. As I've gotten older, and as a Father, I can say that bias is no longer there. Elway really altered NFL history changing the careers, fortunes of many good teams, players, coaches - especially the Browns. But the Broncos rarely had divisional challengers and was exposed against better teams in the playoffs, Superbowls; finally had Superbowl success with a dominant running game to support him...

8 - Steve Young

NFL - Not For Long - is usually what happens with these dual-threat, athlete quarterbacks, but no quarterback with the dual-threat package to pass and run was more impressive than Young; would like to have seen what he could've done with Walsh his entire career; he was also pretty awesome in the USFL...

9 - Warren Moon

Even in a world flawed with bias, Warren Moon still had few that could pass his teams to victory as he had. Though he had few years in the Run and Shoot offense where his numbers soared and the team lost a lot games from wore-out defenses, even in the conventional offensive years, Moon was an exceptional passer who played on poor teams; and to the public, he was humble quarterback...

10 - Dan Fouts

As Marino was the predecessor to the Manning-Brees-Brady era, so was Fouts to the Marino-Montana-Moon era; Dan Fouts was the ultimate test pilot of the Air-Coryell offense which is where much of the modern-era forward passing game really took off. Fouts led teams ran up and down the field so much that both his teammates, as well as opposing defense, had to use IVs to keep players not only on the field, but to prevent serious dehydration. Again, a great passer who had no complementary defense...

I'd also mention that Brees and Brady are not done yet, and they'd only climb on my list; if Brees and the Saints win it all in 2018, I'd move him ahead of Manning; Brady's ranking is admittedly a tough-sell to biased folks, but he's only had rare instances in the past three years of taking the team on his shoulders the way many on this list have...
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  1. Old Comment
    K Major's Avatar
    As it stands now, I have Brees at #5.

    By the time he retires, top 3 QB of all time.
    permalink
    Posted 10-23-2018 at 10:10 AM by K Major K Major is offline

 
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