Drew Brees did more than just take away another of the Hall of Fame quarterback's records when he surpassed Dan Marino's mark of 5,084 passing yards in a single season (set in 1984) this year; he also moved past Marino on the list of greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
Marino still may have more career yards and touchdowns from his 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, but that doesn't change the fact that Drew Brees has done more with his fewer years in the NFL (first with the San Diego Chargers and now the New Orleans Saints).
Here are four reasons why Drew Brees is a better all-time quarterback than Dan Marino.
There's no doubt that Dan Marino is one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. He still holds 22 NFL records, and at one point held 22 others which have since been broken.
However, when you compare Marino's numbers to those of Drew Brees, Brees has the advantage in a number of notable categories, namely passer rating. Marino finished his career with a passer rating of 86.4. Drew Brees currently has a career passer rating of 94.0
Passer rating has long been accepted as the most accurate measurement of quarterback performance, and Brees' career rating is eight points higher than Marino's.
There are a number of other statistics that seem to indicate that Drew Brees is the better quarterback. Brees' completion percentage of 66.7 percent is distinctly better than Dan Marino's career completion percentage of 59.4 percent.
Brees also has a higher touchdown-to-interception ratio, as he's thrown 1.92 touchdowns for every interception he's thrown, compared to 1.66 for Marino.
Brees may not have as many total touchdowns or yards as Marino, but when it comes down to statistics that are not affected by the number of seasons a player has played, Brees has better numbers.
No one can deny that Dan Marino was good at getting the Miami Dolphins to the playoffs. In his 17 year career, he took the Dolphins to the postseason 10 times. However, in those years Marino only won eight of the 18 playoff games he played in. His postseason numbers were markedly worse throughout his career, as his passer rating in playoff games was only 77.1, with him only throwing 32 touchdowns to 24 interceptions in the postseason.
Drew Brees, on the other hand, has been the opposite. He's only been to the playoffs four times in his 11 year career, but he's done well (mostly with the New Orleans Saints) once he's made the postseason. With New Orleans, Brees has a playoff record of 4-2.
Last season (which ended with the surprising loss to the Seattle Seahawks) was the first for Brees where he took the Saints to the playoffs without winning a single postseason game. And Brees still threw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns (without any interceptions) in that game.
When it comes down to it, the measuring stick which is used to differentiate the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time from one another is number of Super Bowl wins.
Sadly, one of the titles which has often been associated with Dan Marino since his retirement is "greatest quarterback never to win a Super Bowl." Marino took the Miami Dolphins to the playoffs 10 times in his career, but only reached the Super Bowl once (at the end of his second season in 1984). The Dolphins lost that game, Super Bowl XIX, 38-16 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Conversely, Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to a victory in Super Bowl XLIV, while earning MVP honors himself after completing a Super Bowl record 32 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Yes it's a team game, but the quarterback is the leader, and thus the team's failure to win the Super Bowl is looked on as a failure for the quarterback.