Drew Brees Cements Hall of Fame Status, Moves to 5th on All-Time Passing List

Sean ODonnellContributor IIINovember 22, 2013

USA Today

Drew Brees' remarkable NFL career hit yet another milestone on Thursday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons. During the 17-13 win that improved the New Orleans Saints 9-2 on the season, Brees was fantastic. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions for a passer rating of 115.2.

This stellar play gave Brees another notch in the record books.

Brees was able to surpass Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon and move to fifth in all-time passing yards. This puts him only behind the likes of Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and John Elway on the list—not bad company for the Saints quarterback.

This feat in itself should cement Brees' bid as a surefire Hall of Famer. However, if other reasons are needed, Brees has plenty of other records to solidify his case.

Currently, Brees holds records for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass, most passing yards in a single season, highest completion percentage in a season, most seasons with over 5,000 passing yards, and most completions in a season, among others.

Not to mention, Brees is also the owner of a Super Bowl ring.

The 34-year-old signal-caller is not showing any signs of slowing down. His efficiency is still off the charts, as Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him sixth out of an eligible 39 QBs with a positive-16.0 grade in 2013.

Brees is in his 13th year in the league and his eighth with the Saints. His consistency has been especially remarkable. In his eight years with New Orleans, he has secured a season passer rating of at least 90.0 seven times, with a 95.0 career passer rating.

The two names most commonly mentioned regarding Hall of Fame talk for active quarterbacks are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Granted, both are already legends and locks for the HoF. However, Drew Brees' name should find its way into the discussion more often.

Looking at what these three quarterbacks have accomplished over their careers, a case can be equally made for each:

Brees vs. Manning vs. Brady
Comp %YardsTDsINTsRating
Career statistics

The numbers for the three are strikingly similar.

One difference, however, is that Brees is still at a relatively young age for the position. Manning (37) and Brady (36) are now likely in the twilight of their careers. Both are still playing at very high levels. But it is Brees who has the chance to continue after they have retired.

Simply put, there are many more records inclined to fall to Brees' arm.

If he can continue to produce for another five seasons, a new debate may arise: Could Drew Brees be the best quarterback of all time?

Considering how efficient the Saints star has been in recent years, that question does not fall into the category of the absurd. It would take "only" four years at 5,000 yards per year for Brees to best Favre's all-time passing record.

Of course, we are nowhere in the vicinity of that discussion just yet. However, with Brees currently right on the heels of John Elway's 51,475 career passing yards, we could be revisiting this subject once again in the near future.