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Drew Brees on the Cusp of Finally Earning Respect

For years now we've all had to suffer while listening to members of the mainstream media and blogosphere alike argue about which quarterback is better: Manning or Brady?

Never Brees.

And for the most part, I understand where they're coming from. Brady and Manning have both won Super Bowls. Brees has not. Both have won the leagues MVP award. Brees has not. As Saints fans, it can be frustrating because we know how good Drew really is. While he's put up some gaudy numbers over the last four years however, the "big one" has always eluded him and that has kept his name out of the conversation. But now Drew has a chance to tear that evil monkey right off his back with a win in the Super Bowl. Will it be enough though?

A win in Miami would give Brees just one championship, enough to tie him with Peyton. Does that means he's just as good? Well, Manning's got all of those MVP awards and stuff. Plus his career stats are pretty ridiculous, too. It's not that Manning has done anything in a single season that Brees couldn't do. Drew has done some pretty amazing stuff himself, like throw for over 5,000 yards in a single season. It's just that Peyton has just been so good for so long and on such a consistent basis. For Drew to ever surpass Manning, he'll have to continue at his current clip for a good many more years and hope Peyton starts to slow down.

How about Tom Brady? He's got all those rings so we know he's good but how do his career numbers stack up? Surprisingly, quite favorably. Take a look and keep in mind that Brady has done all of this with one more season of work.

Drew Brees

Passing Rushing Fumbles
Category Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
TOTAL 2,697 4,164 64.8 30,646 7.4 202 110 159 1,165 91.9 244 482 2.0 7 57 24

Tom Brady

Passing Rushing Fumbles
Category Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
TOTAL 2,672 4,218 63.3 30,844 7.3 225 99 219 1,364 93.3 305 577 1.9 6 69 31

A quick glance shows their career numbers are pretty identical and, again, Drew has had one less year to do it all. By comparison, it's only Brady's ability to win championships that sets him apart from the rest. But I'm expecting Drew to have equal if not better career numbers than Brady when it's time to retire if they both continue down the same respective roads.

So what's my opinion on all of this? Well, I'm a stats guy who thinks numbers don't lie, meaning Peyton is king and there's no argument about that. Even if Brees gets the better of him next Sunday. And unless something goes drastically awry with Manning's career or the Saints go on a Lombardi Trophy winning spree, I doubt Drew will ever be considered as good. But I also don't give too much credence to the number of championships a quarterback has won so I'm unimpressed with Brady's playoff record. Football is a team sport and the talent surrounding him during New England's decade of domination had just as much to do with their success as Brady's aptitude to play quarterback. All of this to say: If Brees can mange to win just one Super Bowl championship, I think he's the hands-down favorite as the second best quarterback in the league, knocking Brady down a peg.

But what do you think? Will a Super Bowl win for Brees and the Saints finally put him in the same category as Manning and Brady or would he still have more work to do?