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Drew Brees is the NFC’s answer to Peyton Manning. It seems that no matter what pieces are put around him, they are going to look prolific. If you paid attention to the NFL at all last year, you are aware of what Brees was able to do last season to defenses and to the record books. At the risk of redundancy, his numbers are worth posting here. Brees set a record, passing for 5,476 yards for 46 touchdowns at a 71.2% completion rate, the highest in the NFL last season.
As previously mentioned, Brees seems to get the best out of his supporting cast, but it certainly helps when those cast members have significant talent. The top receiver for the Saints was their monstrous tight end, Jimmy Graham, who caught 99 passes for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. This was followed by Marques Colston, the closest thing they have to a number one wide receiver, who caught 80 passes for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns. Out of the backfield, Darren Sproles caught 86 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns. Their three top receivers occupy three different positions, highlighting the flexibility of this passing attack. After these three top receivers, four others are reliable options with three wide receivers going for over 500 yards and their other running back, Pierre Thomas, catching for 425 yards.
There are few flaws on this team and the fact that they are not the top of these rankings is a testament to how strong the NFC passing attacks are. The only thing that worries New Orleans fans are off-season issues with the potential to become regular season issues. The most pressing issue for the Saints is that Drew Brees' future is not locked in. Brees has stated that he "won't sign the franchise tag tender and has no plans to show up for training camp if a long-term contract isn't reached by Monday's deadline." The article referenced above also states that they are around one million dollars away from reaching a deal, certainly putting the possibility for a quickly approaching deal within the realm of possibility.
If Brees and the Saints get a deal completed soon, there is no reason to doubt that he will be the same elite quarterback that we have come to know for this team. There is no telling what effect the season-long suspension of Sean Payton will have on the passing attack, but the apparent chemistry present in the offense and the leadership of Drew Brees could be enough to compensate for that.