Brees completed 28 of 38 passes for 301 yards with two touchdowns and an interception during the Saints' 20-14 divisional-round playoff win over the Eagles on Sunday. He also netted zero yards on three rushes and fumbled twice, recovering one himself. The future Hall of Famer's day couldn't have started off any worse, as he was intercepted by Cre'von LeBlanc on a deep throw down the middle intended for Ted Ginn on his first pass of the day. However, it was much more trademark Brees from that point forward, as he completed 28 of his subsequent 37 attempts, with 12 of his completions and 171 of his yards going to Michael Thomas. Brees also connected with Thomas for a two-yard score to cap off an outstanding 18-play, 92-yard march that took up 11:29 of the third quarter, a throw that was preceded by a two-yard hookup with Keith Kirkwood in the second to begin the Saints' comeback from an early 14-0 hole. Brees will now look to repeat the feat in what could be an offensive showdown for the ages versus the Rams in next Sunday's NFC Championship Game.
Brees (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Panthers, John DeShazier of the Saints' official site reports. It was revealed a couple days earlier that Brees wouldn't play in Week 17 with the Saints having secured the NFC's No. 1 seed in the postseason, but it wasn't known whether or not he would dress as the backup to fill-in starter Teddy Bridgewater. Brees' place on the inactive list ensures that Taysom Hill will work as Bridgewater's top understudy.
Teddy Bridgewater will replace Brees as the starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Panthers, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Brees led his team to the No. 1 seed in the NFC and can now get some rest before the divisional round of the playoffs. He'll finish a season with less than 4,000 passing yards for the first time as a member of the Saints, but he more than made up for it with 8.2 yards per attempt, 32 touchdowns and only five interceptions, not to mention a new single-season NFL record for completion percentage (74.4). Brees is the only threat to prevent Patrick Mahomes from winning an MVP award.
Brees acknowledged Tuesday that there's "no doubt" he'll cede snaps to backup Teddy Bridgewater in the Saints' regular-season finale Sunday against the Panthers, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. New Orleans has already sewn up the No. 1 seed in the NFC, so there's no real incentive for the team to play its starters extensively and risk losing a key player to injury ahead of the postseason. With that in mind, it's expected that coach Sean Payton will follow a similar blueprint to those he followed in 2006 and 2009, when the Saints were locked in as the Nos. 2 and 1 seeds, respectively, heading into Week 17. Brees played only one full series in 2006 and sat out entirely in 2009, so at the very least, it seems unreasonable to bank on him staying in for more than a quarter of action this time around. Bridgewater thus projects as the better fantasy play among the two signal-callers this week, given that he'll likely see the overwhelming share of snaps.
Brees completed 27 of 39 attempts, compiling 326 passing yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 31-28 win against the Steelers. No quarterback had experienced a more drastic drop off than Brees over the past three weeks, as the 18-year veteran ranked as QB31 between Weeks 13 and 15, compared to a QB3 standing between Week 5 and Week 12. Brees had averaged fewer than 180 passing yards per game over his last three outings coming into Sunday, with a 2:3 TD:INT ratio to his name over that span. While he failed to throw multiple passing touchdowns for a fourth straight game during the Saints' win over Pittsburgh, Brees eclipsed 300 passing yards for the sixth time this season, posting his first QBR north of 83.0 since lighting up Philadelphia for 363 yards and four touchdowns Nov. 18. With the Saints having already clinched the No. 1 seed throughout the NFC playoffs, Brees may be pulled early, if he suits up at all against Carolina's bottom 12 pass defense in Week 17.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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