Why Didn’t The Saints Win More With Drew Brees?

Drew Brees

Why Didn’t The Saints Win More With Drew Brees? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

The word legend has been tossed around more often about Drew Brees in the first few days after his retirement than he tossed screen passes during his NFL career. His list of achievements have filled up and rewritten the league’s record book, allowing the 15-year New Orleans player to rest assured he will be inducted into Canton in five years. My only problem is this: If Drew Brees was really that good, how come the Saints didn’t win more?

Sixty percent of the time when Drew Brees was a starting quarterback, his team, won. Brees also surpassed 80,000 career passing yards, the most in NFL history and completed more passes than any quarterback to ever play. Brees, however, split his 18 career playoff games, and only reached and won a single Super Bowl, something that, to me, raises questions about the six-foot tall Purdue Boilermaker being a stat padder from September to December and being a beatable quarterback in the postseason.

As the narrative about Aaron Rodgers’ career being wasted by the Green Bay Packers’ front office has already begun, what should we say about Drew Brees’ career, since, after all, both future Hall of Fame QBs have had little Super Bowl glory, and left the field with a lot more crushing losses than thrilling playoff wins.

Drew Brees, to me, is a product of the evolving NFL, a league that embraced fantasy football players faster than the NBA did, and incorporated that element into their game by changing the rules to favor offense. As a result, Brees as well as many other quarterbacks reached 4,000 and even 5,000 passing yards in a year more often using the same pass patterns that were being run in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This was only aided by a league that told defenses to leave receivers alone downfield or face the wrath of a penalty flag, a spot foul for pass interference and a change in momentum.

Drew Brees and the Saints lack of success in the postseason, to me, calls into question how good of a head coach Sean Payton is. Payton, who himself was once suspended for an entire season because his defensive coordinator was running a bounty reward system on opposing players, is well-known for running an onside kick to start the second half of his Super Bowl win … but Payton, is also known as a coach who often tries to be too clever for his own good, and doesn’t stick was works to beat opposing defenses. He, like Andy Reid and many other head coaches, hasn’t always done their best work in the postseason, contributing to Brees’ .500 playoff record, and has me wondering if Sean Payton will even make the Hall of Fame when he retires.

Yeah, I know that retirement is the end of a player’s career, it’s “death” in a manner of speaking, and people are not supposed to speak negatively about a future Hall of Famer while the accolades are flying like confetti. Perhaps all I am trying to do is inject a little balance into how the career of Drew Brees is remembered and help those who look back at his time in the NFL to know that while yes, he was good, thanks to the rules, he and a lot of other quarterbacks were made to look better than they truly were. What I am also hoping to point out is that while Brees did throw all those passes, there were also many wide receivers helping him and every other NFL quarterback with runs that others also received some credit for. 

What I’m also asking history to explain is that even though we know Drew Brees is a Hall of Fame quarterback, why didn’t the New Orleans Saints win more than one Super Bowl with him and Payton running the show? Because only history will even ask that question since it is clear no one writing about either the quarterback or the coach in 2021 is even willing to poise the question honestly. 

 


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