Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to a very convincing 38-17 Monday Night Football victory over the Miami Dolphins, who were also undefeated going into the matchup. Brees was simply sensational, as he tossed four touchdown passes with no picks on 30-39 passing. He completed over 75% of his throws for a whopping 413 yards, and that all averages out to an exceptional 10.6 yards per attempt. For that performance, Drew Brees is our site’s Player of the Week, and it marks the second straight week that a quarterback received the honor after a huge Monday Night Football game (Peyton Manning won it last week). And once again, that quarterback just barely nudged J.J. Watt for the honor, and Watt is really on a tear this year, even if the stats don’t tell the whole story.
For Drew Brees, the scintillating statistics certainly say the whole story. He had a 144.5 QB Rating which is just off-the-charts, and he also had a TQBR of 81.0. He also led all QBs in other advanced statistics such as EPA (expected points added) and Football Outsider’s DYAR. Even though Peyton Manning had a better day when looking at “rate” statistics and would have had greater numbers if the Broncos didn’t pump the brakes, Brees faced a much more difficult matchup than Manning. The Eagles pass defense is absolutely dysfunctional, and they had no shot at stopping the Broncos with Earl Wolff (even if he is promising for a rookie) and Nate Allen starting at safety.
Brees, on the other hand, had to face a respectable defense. The Dolphins unfortunately missed Cameron Wake, but they still had talented pass rushers with Olivier Vernon and Cameron Wake. Unlike the Eagles secondary, the Dolphins have an exceptional safety duo in Chris Clemson and the elite Reshad Jones, and Brent Grimes is a legitimate shutdown corner.
I thought Drew Brees was better than excellent last night, and he deserves to get our Player of the Week for tossing 10.6 yards per attempt on the Dolphins defense. Are you ready for an interesting stat here? Brees threw the ball to nine different pass-catchers, and he never missed a receiver more than twice. The only receiver who had two incomplete targets was rookie Kenny Stills.
So while Manning had the higher QB rating, I thought Brees had to make more difficult throws in order to get his yardage, and there are a few advanced statistics that also agree that Brees had the better day. It’s difficult to judge, but I think it’s easy to overrate the game Manning had against an awful Eagles D.