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Chasing NFL History: Drew Brees Has Dan Marino In His Crosshairs

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Drew Brees is in rare air when it comes to career statistics for quarterbacks… and that air is about to get even rarer in the next two seasons.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees is in rare air when it comes to career statistics for quarterbacks… and that air is about to get even rarer in the next two seasons. Brees currently sits at number four in career passing yards, career passing touchdowns, career pass completions, and career pass attempts. Who sits directly ahead of him in each of these categories? Just a guy named Dan Marino. While Marino may not be the best place holder (laces out, Dan), he’s heralded by some as the best pure passer of all time, and Drew Brees has him square in his sights. So, just when can we expect to see Drew take his next steps of greatness?

Career Passing Yards:
Dan Marino currently sits at #3 overall with 61,361 career passing yards, with Drew Brees sitting at #4 with 56,033. No need to bust out the calculator, I got you; that leaves Drew needing 5,329 more yards to scoot past good ol’ Dan. Now sure, that’s a lofty number to reach in one year, but not impossible, as Drew already has one season of over 5,400 yards… still, this is a stat that I hope I don’t see surpassed this year, for the overall good of the team. Seeing as Drew is averaging over 4,853 yards per season as a Saint, I'm saying it's pretty much a lock that Drew will pass Dan Marino for #3 on the list between game 2 and game 5 of the 2016 season.

Career Passing Touchdowns:
Also sitting at #3 in career passing touchdowns, Dan Marino threw 420 of them during his NFL tenure. Drew Brees is nipping at his heels, currently sitting at 396. That sets the mark to surpass Dan at 25 TDs, a mark Drew Brees has hit in every season as a Saint, and in 10 of the 13 NFL seasons in which he played at least 15 games.  Unless we see Ingram become a red-zone beast (and even still), Drew Brees will pass Dan Marino in career passing touchdowns between game 10 and game 13 of this season.

Career Pass Completions:
Stop me if you heard this before: Dan Marino’s 4,967 career completions are currently the 3rd most of all time… Drew Brees’ 4,937 are #4. That leaves Drew needing just 31 more completed passes to hop over pops. Since Drew Brees is averaging 26.7 completions per game as a Saint, this is an easy one: Drew Brees will pass Dan Marino in career completions week 2 of this season.

Career Pass Attempts:

If you haven’t guessed it, Dan Marino resides at #3 and Drew is currently at #4… but the gap in this category is a little bigger than the previous ones. Dan threw 8,358 career passes; to date, Drew has thrown 7,458 career passes. Hey kids, can you help me count how many passes Drew needs to throw before he passes Dan? One, two, three... Nine-hundred one, whew. Drew is averaging 627 attempts per year as a Saint, however, in the Saints most successful season (2009, if you're new), he only threw 514 times. I’m hoping these next couple years are a little more like 2009 than the rest, Drew Brees will pass Dan Marino in career passing attempts between game 8 and game 11 of the 2016 season.

In a 2015 season that I’m hoping will be historical for the Saints, it’s almost certain to be historical for the legend of Drew Brees. Passing Dan Marino in any career stat is a pretty big deal, passing him in four categories in two years would be remarkable… and that’s just what Drew is on his way towards doing.