How the return of Drew Brees impacts the Atlanta Falcons
Drew Brees announced he was returning to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday morning on his personal instagram page.
The decision for the 41-year-old was up in the air after he put up one of his worst performances of the 2019 season in the NFC divisional round loss against the Minnesota Vikings.
In the postseason affair, Brees had a 90.4 quarterback rating, his fourth-worst of 2019, an interception, which is tied for his worst of 2019, 208 passing yards, which is his fewest in the season with the exception of the Rams game where he was injured early on. He was also sacked three times, which was second to being sacked six times against the Falcons on Nov. 10.
Despite his last forgettable performance, his return for 2020 should still cause some concern for Atlanta. Brees has a 19-10 career record against the Falcons, which is the most wins against any franchise in the league. He has 772 completions for 8,695 passing yards against Atlanta, which are both also personal bests against any other team in the league.
Don’t hold your breath, but Brees might indeed be showing some signs of slowing down. The 11 games he played in 2019 are the fewest he’s played in a season since 2003. He’s also seemingly catching more-and-more flack chasing empty numbers to break as many records as possible in recent years.
Brees is getting older, and while his numbers still look laser sharp, he’ll eventually decline until he decides to hang it up for good. The bad news for Falcons fans is they should be no means prepare for the decline and retirement to immediately arrive. He has terrified the Falcons for years, with the exception of the “new-look-possessed-ruin-the-tank” Falcons who arrived in Brees’ second game back from a six-game injury, and all signs point to him doing the same in 2020.
The return of Brees only puts more pressure on the Falcons front office to equip Dan Quinn and Matt Ryan with the kind of roster they will need to secure playoff position. If the NFC is as a deep as it was in 2019, Atlanta certainly has their work cut out for them.
Brees coming back puts the top three teams back in a dog fight next season, depending how things go in Tampa in the offseason, this could be the best division in football. And knowing anything about the recent history of the NFC South, Carolina will find a way to throw its hat back in the race by September, too.