NFL Awards Watch, Week 17
That's all that separates
While surpassing Marino's mark would be an astonishing accomplishment, Brees' 2008 season is praiseworthy on its own merit. The Offensive Player of the Year candidate has a league-high nine 300-yard passing games, including two games with more than 400 passing yards, and has thrown at least three touchdowns in five games this season. In addition, Brees has compiled a lofty 95.5 passer rating while completing over 65 percent of his passes, with 30 passing touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Those numbers are even more remarkable when you consider that Brees leads the league with 59 completions of more than 20 yards and 16 passes of more than 40 yards.
In normal circumstances, Brees' outstanding play would make him a frontrunner for the league's MVP award, but the Saints' mediocre record (8-7) prevents that. Critics attempt to dismiss Brees' astonishing numbers as byproduct of a passer compiling gaudy statistics in a series of losses, but closer examination reveals that he led the Saints to a 6-3 record when passing for 300 or more yards in a game.
Furthermore, Brees' standout passing production was compiled while the Saints dealt with the midseason absences of their three top targets (