Drew Brees added yet another peerless accomplishment to his career resume last night, when he set a new record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Brees broke the mark of 47 games, set by Baltimore Colts and league-wide legend Johnny Unitas.
It was a fitting moment for Brees, who capped his record-breaking pass against his old team the San Diego Chargers, the franchise that discarded him in favour of Philip Rivers back in 2006. Devery Henderson became the lucky New Orleans Saints wide receiver to enter NFL folklore as the recipient of a 40-yard strike in the opening quarter of a 31-24 victory.
Brees' remarkable run of consistency is further proof that he is surely headed to Canton for enshrinment in the Pro Football Hall of Fame once his stellar career concludes. Since joining the Saints, Brees has flourished and develop into the most accomplished passer in the game.
Last season, he knocked another fabled quarterback off top spot in the record books, by surpassing Dan Marino's single-season yardage mark. That level of excellence defines a player who has defied the modern prototype for NFL quarterbacks.
Standing a mere six foot tall, Brees does not have the height or frame of Peyton Manning, Cam Newton or Aaron Rodgers. He doesn't boast the arm strength of Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan and isn't blessed with the athleticism and escapibility of Tony Romo or Robert Griffin III.
Yet the absence of these qualities do not form a deficiency in Brees' game. Instead, the diminutive signal caller sets new expectations for accuracy. His unerring precision is the one attribute that sets Brees apart from the rest, even Tom Brady.
A host of unheralded wide receivers, such as Henderson, Lance Moore and Marques Colston, have all benefited from Brees' innate ability to thread the ball through any coverage scheme. The placement of his throws is simply remarkable.
If a play requires the ball to go straight between the numbers, that's where it will go. If on another play, his receiver needs separation and has a real chance to make yards after the cacth, Brees will throw him open and put the ball in the perfect spot for a receiver on the run.
Considering he shouldn't be able to see over his offensive line and through the crowds of pass-rushers desperate to slow him down, Brees seems to just have a knack for quickly spotting what is required and making it happen. The talent for transitioning thought to action, at speed, is what has made Brees a record-breaker.
While he's no runner, Brees has an instinct for avoiding pressure that is without equal in the modern game. Rather than darting away from trouble with a scarmble or a step up, Brees seems to simply glide to the side, while a defender hurtles past, snatching at the air and eventually tasting the ground.
He creates his own time in the pocket and like a true master of any craft, always seems to play the game at exactly the pace he sets. His mid-career arc is the stuff Hall of Fame legends are made of.
Deposed for Rivers by the Chargers in 2006, despite some fine play, Brees suffered a treacherous injury to his throwing arm, during his final season in San Diego. It was a setback that would have forever altered the passing quality of most quarterbacks.
To return even better than before, is how legacies are created. With his name now a feature among the all-time passing records, the quarterback many believed was too short, has ensured that his legacy will be a lasting one.
Time to clear a space at Canton.87828