I had nothing to do this past weekend since the Saints were enjoying their bye week and when I've got too much time on my hands, I tend to pass the hours by looking over and analyzing NFL stats. Doesn't everyone? Shutup, don't answer that.
It must have been sometime between Matt Ryan's third interception and Christian Ponder's backwards I-don't-know-what when I wondered to myself just how the start of the 2012 season for Drew Brees compares to past years. I just had to ignore my crying 6-month old son and check the numbers.
So I decided to compile Drew Brees' stats in most major quarterbacking categories through the first five games of the past seven seasons and put them all next to each other. I had absolutely no preconceived notions or hypothesis guiding me, just wanted to see what the numbers might tell me.
And now I wish I hadn't done that. Because what I discovered is a little more than alarming, in case you didn't happen to catch the title of this post.
Before we discuss further let's look at the raw numbers. Again, these are his stats after the first five games of each season with the Saints.
|Net Yards Passing||1,720||1,769||1,410||1,400||1,673||1,175||1,234|
|Avg. Pass Yds. Per Game||344.0||353.8||282.0||280.0||334.6||235.0||246.8|
So what conclusions can we draw? Here's what the stats tell me:
- If you thought Drew threw the ball too often in previous seasons, 2012 should be giving you conniption fits. He's thrown an all-time high 236 passes so far.
- The Saints offensive line sucks. Drew is taking more hits this year than ever before. It's gotten increasingly worse over the past three seasons.
- Throwing the ball more than ever and taking more hits than ever doesn't bode well for the longevity of Drew's career.
- Drew is either getting less help from his receivers catching passes or his accuracy has dropped significantly. Or both. His completion percentage is waaaaaay below normal.
- Drew's interception totals over the past four years are trending in the absolute wrong direction.
- Drew is on a very similar pace as last year in the total passing yardage department. He probably won't break his own NFL record but by season's end, he could potentially have the top two passing yardage seasons in NFL history.