Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens: #Saints QB Drew Brees Is Fine

RSP founder, Matt Waldman has heard the questions this month about Drew Brees and a possible decline in play. After examining the past two games, Brees looks sharp even if his receivers could be sharper. 

Cecil Lammey asked me on Thursday night’s Audible if Drew Brees was washed up. It was the third or fourth time I’ve been around someone broaching this topic. I told Lammey that I didn’t have a good answer and it was on my list of things to investigate within the next week.

Before reviewing the games, I didn’t notice anything that stood out negatively about Brees’ performances when I watched the live broadcasts. What I’ve been hearing and reading is that he can no longer drive the ball and defenses would compress to limit him.

After reviewing the tape, I didn’t see a decline in Bree’s arm, mental processing, pocket management, or accuracy. I saw a significant number of receiver errors:

  • Targets who broke off routes at bad angles.
  • Targets who failed to settle appropriately into zones.
  • Targets who stopped their breaks at the wrong point of the route.
  • Dropped passes.

Brees is just fine. He’s still throwing the ball 20-45 yards downfield with pinpoint accuracy. He can still make opposite-field throws on-time, and he’s still athletic enough to make plays off-platform or deliver from unconventional throwing platforms.

Emmanuel Sanders had a quiet Week 2, but the team’s free-agent acquisition helped his teammates work open based on the attention opposing defenses gave him–especially Tre’Quan Smith. Watch the analysis below and see for yourself:

Any concerns about Brees’ arm strength or loss of accuracy seems rooted in a misunderstanding about route angles and breaks or an overreaction of 1-2 cherry-picked plays. If subsequent games follow these past two performances from the offense, any finger-pointing should go to his receivers, and they haven’t been awful.

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