For years, Drew Brees has been a one-man wrecking crew on Monday Night Football. He was anything but that last night though, as the 41-year-old quarterback showed his age against the Las Vegas Raiders.
When the 2019 season came to an end, Brees thought about retiring. Even though he’s back for his 20th season, there are serious concerns about his skillset at this stage in his career. And unfortunately for Brees, a lot of those concerns were validated on Monday night.
Brees has never been known for his arm strength, but his inability to push the ball downfield is a glaring issue. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, Brees has averaged 4.82 air yards on his passes this season. That’s the lowest by any quarterback through two games since Brett Favre back in 2009.
Last night’s performance from Brees was so abysmal that plenty of fans began questioning if Sean Payton will make an eventual change at quarterback. As of right now, the Saints have Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston right behind Brees on the depth chart.
Could this just be a slow start to the season for Brees? Absolutely, but the early numbers don’t look encouraging for the best statistical quarterback of this era.
Drew Brees has averaged 4.82 air yards on his passes so far this season.
That's his lowest through 2 games as a member of the Saints, and it's the lowest by any QB through 2 games since Brett Favre in 2009. pic.twitter.com/ghtlGu44eG
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 22, 2020
Only 33% of Drew Brees' passing yards against LV came through the air, the lowest single-game % for him in three years. pic.twitter.com/Ys5G7eeyqP
— PFF (@PFF) September 22, 2020
This doesn’t mean that fans should count out Brees for the rest of the season. However, it’s fair to be legitimately concerned with how an aging quarterback is performing this early in the year.
Luckily for the Saints, they don’t need Brees to be great anymore. What they need him to do is move the chains and manage the game at a high level. As long as the defense isn’t giving up 34 points per game, that sounds like an attainable goal.
Brees will try to silence his critics this upcoming Sunday, as he’ll have to go up against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.