New Orleans Saints: Why Drew Brees Is Not a Legitimate NFL MVP Threat

Chad LundbergCorrespondent IIIDecember 20, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talks with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after the NFL opening season game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Saints 42-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

So think about what happened on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers finally lost, and according to the numbers, he deserves a lot of the blame for it.

He only hit 48 percent of his targets on Sunday.

Drew Brees on the other hand, threw five touchdown passes and hit 80 percent of his passes. In fact, he's thrown 16 TDs, and no interceptions in the past five games.

Is Rodgers losing his lead? Of course he is. My problem? Now that people believe the gap is closing, it must mean it is incredibly narrow.

My friends, that is simply a joke, and here's why.

For starters, it's not like the panel just forgets about the first half of the season. Every game is accounted for, and for the first half of the season, Rodgers and Brees played quite differently.

Rodgers only had three interceptions—two of which were tipped off the hands of his receivers, while Brees threw 11 interceptions.

Folks, we're just getting started here. Everything I'm about to say doesn't just apply to Rodgers and Brees this season, but respectively throughout their careers as well. That's another conversation for another time, but it's worth noting. 

Pass Protection

"Rodgers just looks good because he has so many weapons"... blah blah blah, I've heard that before, and though Rodgers has some seriously awesome toys to play with, it just shows a complete lack of understanding for the game.

Is going into battle all about just having the better sword? NO. You need some armor, a shield and teammates, as well.

On average, Rodgers is sacked every 13 passing attempts, while Brees is sacked an average every 25 passing attempts. In short, Rodgers is sacked nearly twice as much as Brees is!

On Sunday, Rodgers began the game without his left tackle Chad Clifton and his best lineman, right guard Josh Sitton, and ended the game with a third-stringer at right tackle. 

It's not like Rodgers' receivers are head and shoulders above everyone else. The Giants, Steelers and even the Saints can make a case that they're close seconds. It's not fair to just talk about the receivers when there are so many parts to the offense that should be taken into account when grading a quarterback. 

Running Game

Rodgers began the season with the best group of running backs of his career, but this unit is beginning to fall apart to injury. But even at their best, they were good, not spectacular.

Brees has four legit running backs in Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory. Those are four running to rotate and keep fresh throughout the game and the entire season.

Together, they average 4.8 yards a carry and have a total 11 touchdowns: That's the kind of run game that could potentially run the entire offense. 

So in other words, a lot of the work is already cut out for Brees. 

Last but not least, Dome Games

Every year, Brees is guaranteed at least nine games inside a dome. One inside the Georgia dome, and another eight at home inside the Superdome. This year he will play 11 games indoors.

Rodgers is only guaranteed at least two games a year inside a dome: one against the Minnesota Vikings and one against the Detroit Lions. This year he will only play three games indoors.

We all know how spectacular Rodgers plays indoors, look no farther than the playoffs when he stunned the Atlanta Falcons and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Just imagine if he could play another eight games a year like that. 


You can sum up everything I just said like this: If the two quarterbacks were to have switched teams, this competition wouldn't be nearly as close as it is.

Because if you think about it, there's virtually nothing that doesn't go to Brees' favor.

Yes, Rodgers has got the weapons: He's even got a brilliant offensive mind behind him in Mike McCarthy. But, Brees posses those two things as well, and then so much more.

On a scale of one to 10, McCarthy is about a 9.5. Sean Payton is about 9.  Rodgers' receivers are like a 9.5 (if you include Finley), and Brees' are like an 8 (if you include Jimmy Graham).

That's about all Rodgers has on Brees—the pass protection, the run game and the perfect environment all favor Brees on a massive scale.

Folks, Rodgers has 40 touchdown passes in 473 passing attempts. Brees has 37 touchdown passes in 583 passing attempts. Heck, 10 of Brees touchdown passes were against the Minnesota Vikings and the Manning-less Colts. That about sums up the efficiency scale between the two—and obviously—it heavily favors Rodgers.

And for what it's worth, Rodgers has 239 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to Brees 79 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown.

Is Brees having a great year? Yes. Is he having an MVP-type year? Absolutely. I even think he's having his best year. But is he better than Rodgers?

Folks, that debate, should not even begin!


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