Drew Brees Wins Sportsman of The Year: Could NFL MVP Follow?
Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints has been awarded the Sport Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award for his efforts toward getting the Saints their first Super Bowl victory in their 43 year history.
He won the Super Bowl MVP award for his 288 yards and two passing touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts.
As of right now, Brees is by no means the favorite for the NFL MVP Award this season, as that distinction would have to go to Philip Rivers, Tom Brady or Michael Vick at this point in the year.
There is no doubt, however, that the Saints and Brees have the offensive firepower needed to insert Brees into the conversation for the award.
So, lets take a look at how Brees measures up in each of the important statistical categories with the other MVP candidates and his chances of overtaking them.
Brees is currently ranked fourth in passing yards, just behind Kyle Orton, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning.
The Saints, like the Broncos, Chargers and Colts ahead of him are pass-oriented teams, and he has the perfect offense for overtaking the guys ahead of him.
He has a loaded offense to throw the ball to with Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and Jeremy Shockey all great passing threats. Brees has thrown touchdowns to nine different players this season, so there is no question that he has the players to throw to.
The Saints also have a decent run game, averaging 105 yards per game, which is enough to make defenses watch the running backs, but not enough to take away from the pass game.
During the four game win streak that the Saints are on Brees has averaged 323 yards per game, given that average, he would end up 4936 yards.
Any time a quarterback gets near 5,000 yards, there is an excellent chance that he is leading the league in passing yards.
He is on the right roll to take over the top spot in passing yards.
The league lead for pass touchdowns is 23, shared by Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Brees.
In the past four games, Brees has amassed nine touchdown passes, a rate which would give Brees 11 to 12 more in the final five games of the season, giving him around 35 touchdowns.
Brees led the league a season ago with 34 touchdown passes, so the number of 35 would easily keep him near the top of the league in TDs.
This is the category that might hurt Drew Brees.
After throwing only 11 interceptions a season ago, Brees already has 15 this season, the third most in the league behind Brett Favre and Eli Manning.
Brees has been a gunslinger as of late, with five interceptions in the past four games, at this rate he could end at around 20 interceptions this year, a bit of a high number.
The last QB to have more than 20 interceptions in a season and win an MVP award was Kurt Warner in 2001, so those picks could hurt Brees.
Brees has been the most accurate quarterback in the NFL this season, and he has done it while attempting the second most passes in the league.
Brees is a quite impressive this season, completing 313 of 456 passes this season, completing a league-leading 68.6 percent of passes this season.
He will easily keep up this pace for the rest of the season, as he is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league every year, setting an NFL record a season ago with north of 70 percent completions.
With 28 completions per game all season, Brees could end the season with around 450 completions, a number that would break his own record.
Any time you have a record breaking season at hand, a player should get some play for MVP.
Drew Brees is currently at a 92.7 quarterback rating, which is eighth for quarterbacks that have played every game this season.
Six of Brees' 11 games this season have seen him post a rating of over 100, so it is extremely possible that this number would go up.
If Brees is able to get his QB Rating up around 96 or so to put him closer to the top of the league there is no way he could be kept out of MVP talks.
So What Are His Chances?
Right now, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady and Michael Vick are the most probable MVP candidates, but the race is far from over.
This season has been one of the more wide open races in recent memory, with Peyton Manning not being absolutely dominant, Tom Brady not running a record breaking offense and no running back completely annihilating defenses.
The only thing keeping Brees from the award is his number of interceptions, which has led to his quarterback rating, which is slightly lower than the favorites right now.
If Brees can keep from throwing interceptions, while keeping up his torrid offensive pace and get near 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns, it will be hard to keep the award from the little quarterback out of Purdue.