Longevity Leader

Super Bowl win would give Brees edge over Brady
Drew Brees
Tom Brady currently holds the mark for longest span between Super Bowl wins by a starting quarterback, but Drew Brees could capture the crown if the Saints party with the Lombardi this year.(Cooper Neill via AP)

 

The NFL’s two oldest quarterbacks, Tom Brady, who will be 43 when the 2020 season kicks off, and Drew Brees, 41, have been in a horse race the past few seasons attempting to secure several career records before their playing days come to an end.

Brees leads Brady in career touchdown passes, 547 to 541, and passing yards, 77,416 to 74,571. But there is a significant mark that Brady holds that Brees could capture with a Super Bowl win.

Brady, of course, went to nine Super Bowls and won six with the New England Patriots. One of the unique features of those championship teams is that the Pats went a decade between winning their third and fourth Lombardi Trophy.

A 10-year gap between winning championships speaks to Brady’s greatness and longevity, but the mark could slip between his fingers this season if the Saints have the season they expect to.

This week, ESPN updated its Football Power Index, a prediction model for the NFL. While the New Orleans Saints are rated as the fourth-best team in the league and second-best team in the conference, the sports network believes the Black & Gold will face the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

ESPN’s FPI has the Chiefs ranked as the best team in the NFL. They are expected to win 11.2 games and have a 21% chance to win the next Super Bowl. The Ravens are second with 11.0 wins and a 17% chance at the championship. San Francisco is expected to win 10.2 games going into the 2020 season and has been given a 12% chance of winning their sixth Lombardi. The Saints, meanwhile, are expected to match the ‘Niners win total, but has a 13% chance to win Super Bowl LV.

While ESPN has San Francisco ranked ahead of New Orleans, they believe the Saints have a better chance of winning their division (59% compared to 53%) and automatically qualifying for the postseason due to a slightly easier schedule.

If ESPN’s predictions play out, the Saints and Chiefs face each other, and New Orleans wins the Super Bowl, it would mean Drew Brees would have gone 11 years between championships, eclipsing Brady once again.

Over the past several seasons, records held by all-time greats Dan Marino, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning have been broken by Brees and Brady. There is no doubt in my mind that part of Brady’s unexpected move out of New England and into Tampa Bay – in the same division as Brees’ Saints – was driven by his desire to best compete with the Saints QB for those career marks.

Excitement for the 2020 season is growing with each change of the date. While the most important numbers this season will be in the wins and losses columns, there will be added drama and interest focused on the “arms” race in the NFC South.

If Brees wants his name to be at the top of the most “all-time” lists, the easiest way to do it is to win.

Do that and the record books will write themselves.

 

 

 

Categories: The Pennant Chase

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