METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees has not introduced when he plans to retire. So there was no form of formal “farewell tour” surrounding his twentieth NFL season.
However simply in case this occurs to be his final Monday Night time Soccer look, it’s value appreciating what number of particular moments the New Orleans Saints quarterback has skilled on this prime-time stage.
In accordance with ESPN Stats and Data, Brees broke the NFL information for profession passing yards, profession passing touchdowns, single-season passing yards and single-game completion share on Monday nights. He produced the one good passer ranking of his profession in a Monday evening win over the New England Patriots throughout the Saints’ 2009 Tremendous Bowl season. And nobody in New Orleans will ever neglect the evening Brees, Steve Gleason and the Saints helped breathe new life into the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.
Brees has racked up 17 300-yard passing video games and 6 video games with at the very least 4 landing passes on Monday nights — each probably the most in NFL historical past.
It’s “completely” nonetheless particular, the 41-year-old mentioned as he heads into Monday’s sport towards his former workforce, the Los Angeles Chargers, within the Superdome (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).
“There’s a degree of nostalgia there, from being a child watching it to having the chance to play on Monday Night time Soccer,” Brees mentioned. “And now occurring 20 years, there’s been some nice moments, some very memorable moments, some enormous video games that we’ve been capable of be part of. So hopefully that continues.”
This may virtually definitely be Brees’ ultimate sport towards the Chargers — the workforce that drafted him in 2001 and let him depart in free company in 2006 — since NFC and AFC groups solely meet as soon as each 4 years.
Brees is 3-0 in his earlier revenge matches. He was much less nostalgic about what the opponent means to him — although he mentioned he’d be “mendacity” if he didn’t admit he can be somewhat sentimental.
“It’s a part of the journey,” Brees mentioned. “After I was drafted by the Chargers again in ’01, it was my hope, my plan to be the franchise quarterback there for my entire profession. And clearly that didn’t occur, and that was for a cause. There was some divine intervention there, I imagine. And it introduced me right here — in all probability one of many final locations I believed I might ever find yourself. And but, while you take a look at the final 15 years right here with Sean Payton and so many others, that’s the best way it was alleged to be.”
Greater than something on Monday evening, nevertheless, Brees desires to verify he and the Saints (2-2) head into the Week 6 bye on a excessive be aware.
They revived their season with a come-from-behind win at Detroit final week, which included the perfect efficiency of the 12 months so removed from Brees and New Orleans’ offense.
The low level really got here on one other Monday evening in Week 2, when the Saints misplaced 34-24 at Las Vegas — and Brees was closely scrutinized for not getting the ball downfield.
However Brees and the offense have discovered a greater rhythm over the previous two weeks, and now they may get receiver Michael Thomas again from a Week 1 ankle damage.
“I don’t suppose you’ll be able to actually make a real willpower whether or not (the Saints’ lack of downfield throws) is weapon-related, Drew-related, or what it’s. I feel we nonetheless want extra time,” mentioned Monday Night time Soccer analyst Louis Riddick, who mentioned we are going to study extra as soon as Thomas returns and Brees continues to develop a rhythm with newly-signed receiver Emmanuel Sanders, amongst others. “However I do begin to fear. As a result of, look, I’ve seen quarterbacks in my entrance workplace profession, I’ve performed towards quarterbacks who had been getting old. It’s gonna occur to everybody.
“I feel you’re seeing that with Drew, I feel you’re seeing that he’s needed to change his fashion. However as they’d inform you, too, effectivity is the secret, shifting the soccer is the secret, scoring factors is the secret. And if they will nonetheless do this, then they don’t actually care.
“It doesn’t look fairly the identical, I’ll say that. … He’s not the identical participant he was 5 years in the past, clearly, and I don’t suppose anybody would anticipate him to be. However I’m nonetheless ready to see over time right here how a lot his bodily expertise have really diminished, as a result of everybody’s do.”
Brees’ buddy and former Chargers teammate LaDainian Tomlinson additionally pointed to the changes Brees has needed to make with Thomas out of the lineup and with no offseason to work with Sanders. So he mentioned that he thinks the extraordinary scrutiny Brees was below a pair weeks in the past was untimely.
“That’s what occurs as you become old, individuals query if that is it, if that is the cliff that you simply’re gonna fall off of,” mentioned Tomlinson, who’s now an analyst for the NFL Community. “I simply suppose it’s outstanding what Drew continues to do, even at his age to repeatedly get higher and regulate his sport to what this workforce wants — not the Drew of 5, seven, eight years in the past.”
Certainly, Brees’ Monday evening highlights span his 20s, 30s and 40s. Listed below are his prime 5 moments.
Sept. 25, 2006: Saints 23, Falcons 3
Within the unforgettable phrases of former MNF broadcaster Mike Tirico, “Landing, New Orleans!”
Brees threw for 191 yards and no touchdowns in his dwelling debut for the Saints — but it surely nonetheless may rank as probably the most memorable regular-season win of his profession. It was the evening the Saints returned dwelling to the rebuilt Superdome one 12 months after Katrina devastated town and compelled the workforce to spend a season in San Antonio. Gleason blocked a punt on the opening drive, producing an unforgettable eruption of emotion from the house crowd. The Saints beat their greatest rivals and ushered within the biggest period in franchise historical past below Brees and new coach Sean Payton.
Nov. 30, 2009: Saints 38, Patriots 17
The Saints had been already 10-0 on their technique to the Tremendous Bowl title. However Brees took perfection to a brand new degree on this prove-it victory over Tom Brady and Invoice Belichick. Brees accomplished 18 of 23 passes for 371 yards, 5 TDs and no interceptions to provide the one good 158.3 passer ranking of his profession.
Dec. 26, 2011: Saints 45, Falcons 16
Brees wanted simply 15 video games to interrupt Dan Marino’s 27-year-old NFL document for single-season passing yards, which he did with a 9-yard TD move to Darren Sproles within the ultimate minutes. Alas, his document of 5,476 yards was damaged by Peyton Manning two years later. However the Saints’ workforce document of seven,474 yards gained in 2011 nonetheless stands.
Oct. 8, 2018: Saints 43, Redskins 19
We knew going into the sport Brees would break Manning’s document of 71,940 profession passing yards. However the best way he did it was spectacular — a 62-yard landing move to rookie receiver Tre’Quan Smith en path to 363 yards and three TDs.
“It performed out even larger than I ever may’ve imagined,” Brees mentioned after the sport, which included a midgame ceremony on the sector together with his household current to commemorate the second. On the time, Brees’ completion share of 89.7 in that sport (23-of-26) was a profession greatest. However keep tuned …
Dec. 16, 2019: Saints 34, Colts 7
At this level Brees’ damaged information are beginning to really feel like — nicely, a damaged document. This time, Brees broke Manning’s document of 539 profession TD passes with a 5-yarder to tight finish Josh Hill. And he did it whereas finishing an NFL single-game document 96.7% of his passes (29-of-30) for 307 yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions at age 40.
“I do not understand how they choose ’em,” Brees mentioned after the sport. “Monday Night time Soccer, taking part in the Colts, the workforce that we gained the Tremendous Bowl towards 10 years in the past. So the entire Tremendous Bowl XLIV workforce is again for the tenth anniversary. And, clearly, nationwide tv, massive sport, and now that document within the steadiness as nicely. It simply type of makes you shake your head. ‘Are you kidding me?'”