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Drew Brees is the greatest Quarterback in Saints franchise history, and a lock for Canton when he hangs up his cleats. In 2015, even considering the fact that he missed a game due to a shoulder injury, he still led the league in passing yards with 4,870. He averaged his highest passing yards per game since 2012, threw 6 less interceptions than he had in 2014, and ended the year with the second highest QBR of his career.
In the game Brees missed against the NFC South rival Carolina Panthers, backup QB Luke McCown threw for over 300 yards, with only 1 INT. The Saints were driving down the field for a go-ahead score in the final minutes and might have eked out a win if not for a sensational play on the ball by former Panthers CB Josh Norman. Four weeks later, against the Indianapolis Colts, McCown executed a brilliant fake field goal, connecting on his sole pass of the game for 25 yards (and very close to a touchdown).
McCown was re-signed this offseason to a two-year deal to remain in New Orleans, backing up Drew Brees. Fellow back-up Matt Flynn has yet to be picked up by another team this offseason and remains a free agent. While there was last-minute rumblings of the Saints potentially grabbing a Quarterback with one of their first picks (or even potentially trading up for a QB) in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Saints are set to enter the 2016 regular season with Brees, McCown, and 2015 3rd Round Pick Garrett Grayson at QB.
So here's why they're better in 2016:
There is a reason this section was written last for the offense. The offensive line looks to be marginally better than 2015. The running game will improve with better use of C.J. Spiller and a healthy Mark Ingram. The Tight Ends will improve with the addition of Coby Fleener. The group of Wide Receivers will outperform 2015 with the addition of 2016 2nd Round Pick Michael Thomas and the continued development of Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, and Brandon Coleman. Vincent Brown, the most recent Saints offseason acquisition, also is another new WR target for Drew.
One of the biggest reasons Drew should have better overall numbers in 2016 is because of the improved play of his teammates around him. He should have more time in the pocket, a more balanced offense, multiple reliable targets, and (spoiler alert:) a defense that is able to get him the ball more frequently than last year.
Luke McCown is a solid backup, and if the Saints need to rely on him for part of a game, he should be more than adequate. Hopefully, though, his services will not be needed. In 2015, Drew missed his first injury-related game as a member of the New Orleans Saints. From 2006 to 2014 (save the 2009 season when the starters were rested), Brees played in all 16 games, and should be expected to do the same in 2016.
We all know that Drew is not getting any younger, but he is only about to enter his age 37 season. In Tom Brady's age 37 season, he finished with the second-highest QBR of his career to date. In Peyton Manning's age 37 season, he broke Drew Brees's record for most passing yards in a single season with 5,477. Manning also threw for 55 TDs to only 10 INTs that year.
I'm not saying Drew is going to break Manning's record in 2016, but I'm not saying he can't either.