Another New Orleans Saints playoff run has ended with disappointment. The Saints fell to rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-20 in the Super Dome in the divisional playoff round. There are many takeaways from this game, and there will be plenty of time to discuss these points. As of now, the focus is mostly on Drew Brees. Much of the talk for this season has been on Brees and his future. After the game was decided on Sunday night, an emotional Brees was shown on camera several times. Brees did not make any announcement after the game but many expect it to come shortly after the season ends. If this was his last game, it is time to be grateful for Drew Brees’ career both on and off the field.
Time to be Grateful for Drew Brees’ Career
The divisional round playoff loss will be fresh on all New Orleans Saints fans for some time. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers beat the Saints in a defensive matchup. What could be Brees’ last game did not finish as those around the Saints would have liked. Brees looked more human than he ever has in a big game. Brees finished with a 55% completion percentage on 34 passes. Worse of all, Brees was attributed with three interceptions. One of the interceptions was a tip by Jared Cook but the other two seemed to be slowed by Father Time himself. This is how Brees’ career likely will end, but should not be the legacy with which he is forever known.
Drew Brees’ likely final playoff game should not define his legacy. Over Brees’ career, he has a 66.7% completion percentage in 18 career postseason games. Brees accounted for 37 touchdowns over this span with over 5,000 yards passing. His regular-season career accolades are too many to list. NFL Statistics Twitter listed several of Brees’ career numbers. Brees has the most career passing yards and completions. He also has the most 5,000 yard seasons, most pass completions in a season, and most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Drew Brees is mostly known for his accuracy which is why this latest playoff game should not be a referendum on his career. Brees has the highest single-season completion percentage in NFL history at 74.4%.
Drew Brees Legacy
Drew Brees and his legacy can be defined in so many ways. Brees started his own charity which continues to enrich the regions. The Brees Dream Foundation has donated over $33 Million to various charities in the region. Most recently, Brees and his family donated $5 million to help with ongoing covid family relief. Brees was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2006 due to his humanitarian efforts. On the field, New Orleans went from a perennial loser to an every-year competitor. Before Brees’ arrival, the New Orleans Saints had but one playoff win in five appearances since 1967. Since Drew Brees arrived, the Saints have been to the playoffs nine times, culminating with a Super Bowl victory in the 2009 season. The value of going from the bottom to the top for an organization known for failure cannot be overstated.
Tyrann Mathieu probably summed up Drew Brees’ legacy the best after this weekend’s loss. “Being from New Orleans Drew Brees meant everything to us in that city….. at many times our only hope, you know to smile & feel good, to live in a winning reality…. that man gave us all life…. none of us are perfect but he was close Salute[sic].” This thought was widely dispersed through social media. Current players throughout the league shared this in honoring Brees and his legacy. Mathieu, those sharing his thoughts, and many others are choosing to be grateful for everything that Brees has given the Saints organization and the entire Louisiana and Mississippi region.
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