drew brees-new orleans saints

Drew Brees will turn 39 years old next week, but you certainly wouldn’t have known it watching the first half of Sunday’s Saints-Panthers NFC playoff contest.

Over the game’s first two quarters, Brees completed 13 of 18 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns, for a 151.4 passer rating that is just short of perfect. He had nearly as many passing yards in the first half as Jaguars and Bills’ quarterbacks had combined in their entire game (235) earlier in the day.

Brees’ first big strike Sunday came late in the first quarter, when he found Ted Ginn on a deep ball, springing Ginn for an 80-yard touchdown that gave New Orleans a 7-0 lead.

Later, he hit tight end Josh Hill for his (and his team’s) second touchdown of the day.

And minutes later he found Michael Thomas to set up the Saints’ third score.

Thanks to Brees’ artistry (and the Panthers’ inability to convert long drives into touchdowns) the Saints lead the Panthers 21-9 at halftime.

Lost slightly amid big seasons from Tom Brady, Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson was the fact Brees put together one of his best ever campaigns in 2017. With help from a prolific rushing attack that kept Saints opponents honest, the future Hall of Famer led the NFL in completions (386) and yards/attempt (8.1), while setting an NFL single-season record for completion percentage (72 percent). That performance earned him a Pro Bowl nod, and if Sunday’s first half is an indication, it could earn him a long stay in the postseason.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.