Is Drew Brees Done?
Only two weeks into the 2020 NFL season, and already many sportswriters, talk show hosts, and fans are giving up on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Don't believe me? Take a look at some social media reaction to Brees' play following Monday night's 34-24 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
And those are just a few of the cleaner takes on Brees' play two games through the season.
The point a lot of people are trying to make is that Brees is no longer capable of throwing the deep ball, but many have gone even farther, saying the future Hall of Famer should retire right now, and that the Saints can't win because of him.
CAW CAT!!! We're two games through the season! Two!
Let me try to put things into perspective, just a tad.
Brees is 41-years old. It's unrealistic to think that he can play at the same level, on a consistent basis, the way he did ten years ago, or even five years ago.
I've been saying for three years that he can't throw the deep pass the way he once did, to the likes of Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, and Ted Ginn.
And you know what? That's only to be expected, as he's 41-years old now.
Brees freely admitted that he was mulling retirement after last season. All those years in the NFL takes a lot out of a player, both physically and mentally.
When the Saints played the Buccaneers in Week 1, with Brees and Tom Brady starting behind center for their respective teams, it marked the first time in NFL history that both starting quarterbacks were 40 years of age, or older.
If you're expecting the 35-year old Brees to return, you're probably kidding yourself.
But does that Brees is "done" as some have claimed, that he should retire, or that the Saints can't win with him?
Let's put the brakes on that for just a moment, shall we?
Did Brees play well on Monday night? No. He missed some throws and threw a bad interception near the end of the first half. But he did complete 68% of his passes for 310 yards and a touchdown.
I just think he's taking way too much heat, right now, for a quarterback who completed about 70% of his passes, while throwing for over 300 yards and doing it without one of the top receivers in the game, Michael Thomas.
And while he deserves some criticism, let's also dish it out to others. His completion percentage would have been even higher, if not for a couple of dropped passes, the interception was bad but Brees was under big pressure as left guard Andrus Peat got beat on the play, and Brees didn't give up 34 points to the Raiders offense.
Even going back to Week 1, Sean Payton criticized his own play-calling in the win over the Bucs.
Now, I totally get that statistics can be misleading and that Brees' numbers were overrated on Monday night. He only threw one pass of over 20 yards and less than ten of over ten yards.
Obviously, the more you just dump off the ball, the higher your completion percentage is going to be, and Brees has to throw the ball down the field more for the Saints to be a legitimate threat in the NFC.
It should also be pointed out that the Saints have not been fast starters over the years. From 2014-2018 they lost in Week 1 every year, and last year they weren't exactly dominating over the first two games, capturing a two-point win over the Texans, before getting their clocks cleaned by the Rams.
Yet, this is also an organization that won 37 games over the last three seasons.
The Saints will get better, and as they do Brees will look better.
The Saints will be favorites over their next four games. Now, that doesn't mean they'll win them all, but I think they certainly can, and I also think four weeks from now will be a more appropriate time to judge the team, and certainly judge Brees.
Again, I'm not taking up completely for Brees. There's no question he has to be better.
I'm just amazed at how many people have given him so much heat, and how many of those people don't believe he will be.
Let's pump the brakes on the "Brees is done...Brees needs to retire...Brees needs to be benched" talk, at least for now.