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Drew Brees surpassed Dan Marino’s single-season record for passing yards against the Falcons on Monday Night Football. That has set off a great debate of “Who is better, Brees or Marino?” The only answer is “It doesn’t matter.”
It doesn’t matter if there is more talent at the wide receiver position for Brees or if the NFL has adjusted the rules to make it more passer-friendly. It doesn’t matter if defenses were unaccustomed to playing against teams that could pass like Marino’s Dolphins. Those are questions that can be debated forever and there will never be a consensus as to whom is truly better.
Drew Brees deserves all of the credit in the world for having an absolutely amazing season which was punctuated by passing Dan Marino’s single-season passing mark. There is not a better person or a better way to surpass one of the all-time great records in the NFL.
The debate of which player had a better season or a better career only diminishes both the record that was set as well as the record that was broken. We have been given a seasonally appropriate gift of being able to watch one of the greatest performances throughout a season.
As sports fans, we need to realize that it has been 27 years since this has happened and even if this record falls before another 27 years passes, this is still an unbelievable accomplishment for anyone to achieve, under any circumstance, in any era.
Brees has taken an amazing ride through the NFL; Every team passed on him in the draft, mainly because they thought he was too short to play the position.
Brees struggled early on with a 10-17 record through his first three years. Through that time he had a negative touchdown to interception ratio, averaged about 200 yards per game and was far from being an inspiration for his team.
After a draft-day trade, the Chargers took Philip Rivers with the fourth overall draft pick and the Drew Brees experiment appeared to be all but over. However, that very same year, Brees exploded on the scene with a 27-to-seven touchdown-to-interception ratio, a completion percentage of 65, 3,100 yards and most importantly, an 11-4 record.
Eventually the Chargers were unable to give Brees the contract that he wanted, due in large part to the fact that they had Rivers on the team and that Brees had a major shoulder injury, and Brees signed a six-year, $60 million contract with the Saints.
Brees and Reggie Bush came to New Orleans and immediately helped the team and the city rebuild after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.
Under Sean Payton’s tutelage, Brees has never thrown for fewer than 4,388 yards in the six years that he has been there. Together they have taken a team that has been historically awful and turned them into Super Bowl championship in 2009.
In Week 16 on Monday Night Football, Brees may have left his most indelible mark on the game of football. Brees achieved the record by finding 12 different receivers throughout the year and found seven of them in the game Monday night.
Brees has done all of this while being an absolute class act and an emotional leader for the team. He has become one of the faces of the NFL and if this years performance is any indication, he will be for quite some time.
Dan Marino was an amazing quarterback, just like Brees is today. Instead of bickering over the changes in the game between now and then, simply enjoy watching the game played at such a high level.