When you think of top tier quarterbacks, you automatically talk about Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. However, over the past couple of seasons and especially this year, Drew Brees has quietly joined the duo at the top of the NFL.
Last year, Brees played for a team that didn't have too much going for it. They were 28th in rushing yards and 26th in scoring defense. They played in a tough NFC South with Carolina and Atlanta, but the lone bright spot was the passing offense of the New Orleans Saints.
Brees was magnificent, throwing for 5,069 yards and 34 touchdowns. It is well known that I believe that Brees should have been league MVP.
After all, when you compare him to the league MVP, he did thrown for 1,067 more yards, 0.8 more yards per attempt, seven more touchdowns, 26 more passes of 20 or more yards, and over twice as many passes of 40 or more yards (16 to 7).
Not to mention that Brees was playing on a worse team and in a tougher division than Peyton Manning was. However, despite what in my opinion was a questionable result, the past is the past.
This year, Brees is once again playing at an elite level. He is second in quarterback rating only to Brett Favre. He is first in yards per attempt, ahead of second place Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers by 0.5 yards. He is about 300 yards behind first place Peyton Manning in passing yards, but that is due in large part to the fact that Manning has had 66 more passing attempts.
Want to talk strength of schedule? He has played pass defenses ranked No. 2, 3, 4, 9, and 10 thus far into the season. You want wins? The 9-0 record would meet your demands.
You want points? How about an offense that is on pace to break the 2007 Patriots scoring record? You want come from behind wins? Well, let's look.
Against the Dolphins, they were down 24-3 in the second quarter. Then Brees leads a 51-yard touchdown drive in 1:36 to end the half. In the second half he led touchdown drives of 82, 79, and 60 yards to put the Saints ahead in a game they would eventually win.
How about the Saints being down 14-0 against the Panthers, in a game where the Panthers had well over 150 rushing yards, and winning the game? Two major rallies down from multiple scores to win a football game.
Well, one might argue that Manning once again should be the MVP candidate above Brees. Indeed, Manning does have 300 more yards and one more touchdown, and his team is also 9-0.
However, consider how many more attempts Manning is getting to throw the ball compared to Brees. If Brees' touchdown percentages and yards per attempt were applied over the same number of attempts Manning had, Brees would have 3141 yards and 23 touchdowns, where Manning has 2,872 yards and 20 touchdowns and Brady has 2,739 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Another argument against Brees would be that the Saints' defense has been outstanding this year. However, the Saints' defense is 17th in points allowed, whereas the Colts' defense is first.
Brees may have a better supporting cast, but Manning's better support group didn't prevent him from winning league MVP last year, so why would it apply to Brees this year?