Life's a Brees In New Orleans

Brad JamesCorrespondent INovember 28, 2008

Here for your viewing pleasure is the caricature of an excellent man and signal-caller.

In a season that has seen the New Orleans Saints experience agonizing losses (see the defeat at the hands of my Broncos), steroid controversy and innumerable injuries, the one constant is Austin, Texas native Drew Brees.

Brees (22 TD's, 11 INT's, 3,574 yards on the season) has an excellent shot to shatter Dan Marino's single-season record of 5,084 passing yards set in 1984 with a bunch of lightly-regarded receivers.

I'm a bit late in writing this column as I hearken back to last Monday night's performance against the Packers.

With that said, the lack of timeliness does nothing to tarnish Brees' magnificence as he torched what was the third-ranked pass defense in NFL annals with 323 passing yards and a trifecta of scoring tosses.

In fact, this season he has made Lance Moore a star and is finally getting something out of Jeremy Shockey (much to my fantasy team's delight).

In terms of team offensive statistics, Brees has been the impetus of an attack that leads the NFL in total offense (nearly 412 yards a contest) and passing yards (319.5 a game). 

While some teams at 6-5 are in anything but propitious circumstances, the same cannot be said for New Orleans. With games against all other NFC South foes to close out the season (including Sunday's game with Tampa Bay), the Saints have their destiny squarely on their shoulders.

It will be tough to face the Buccaneers at Raymond James, but with Brees under center, to quote the robotic Tiger Woods, "I like their chances."

The Buccaneers, under the guidance of the exceptionally underrated Monte Kiffin, seem to be the perfect foil to the high-octane Saints attack as they rank fourth in total defense, surrendering a little under 275 yards a game and second against the pass, as they allow just under 175 yards a game in the air.

However, as I've stated innumerable times in my columns at B/R and other places, this is a quarterback league so with Brees matching up against Jeff Garcia, the advantage definitively goes to New Orleans.

For those of you fortuitous enough to get this game in the early window of your NFL doubleheader, enjoy it for me as we get Colts/Browns in Utah.

If the Buccaneers can win this game, they can make major strides toward amassing a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed in the NFC, but in my impromptu weather forecast, expect a swirling Brees in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area on the Florida Gulf Coast.

Additionally, the forecast calls for numerous deep balls. Buccaneers defensive backs are advised to bring their A-game. In any case, this could easily be the game of the week.