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QB Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints

6-1, 220Born: 1-15-1979College: PurdueDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Derick E. Hingle, US Presswire

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Week 13: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Drew Brees threw 35/45 for 420 yards, three TDs and one interception against the Ravens last week (and had a couple of other TDs that could have been reeled in with some better luck) - though the Saints lost Brees' fantasy owners probably won last week if they started him. Jimmy Graham (10 targets for 6/47/2 receiving) led the team in TDs, while Kenny Stills (nine for 8/98/0) led the team in receiving. Marques Colston also visited the end zone (four for 4/82/1) and Joe Morgan made two big plays on the night with a 67-yard rush and a 62-yard reception. It looks like Stills will work out just fine taking over for Brandin Cooks. The Steelers' pass D is ranked 16th in the NFL averaging 241.6 net yards passing allowed per game, with 19 passing scores given up vs. eight interceptions (tied for 20th in the NFL) and 20 sacks (25th) generated to date. They are a mediocre-to-sub-par bunch pretty much across the board, as you can see. Zach Mettenberger (15/24 for 263 net yards, two TDs and one interception thrown, with zero sacks taken) and Michael Vick (10/18 for 125 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions, with four sacks taken for -7 yards) both notched two passing scores on the Steelers in their last two games played. Advantage, New Orleans.

Recent Stats and Projections

9 at CAR 24 34 297 1 1 4 2 1 1
10 vs SF 28 47 292 3 2 2 7 0 1
11 vs CIN 33 41 255 1 0 1 3 0 0
12 vs BAL 35 45 420 3 1 3 15 0 0
13 at PIT PROJ-Dodds 26 39 * * * 2 * * *
13 at PIT PROJ-Tremblay 29 43 * * * 2 * * *
13 at PIT PROJ-Bloom 26 37 * * * 1 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 10 vs SF (28 / 47 / 292 / 3 / 2 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)

QBs are judged by wins and losses and through nine games Brees is turning the ball over too many times for the Saints to be a winning team. Three turnovers again overshadowed an otherwise strong performance from Brees against the 49ers and directly led to a costly home loss. Brees started the game with a bad INT on the first drive. He seemed to feel the pressure as the pocket collapsed and didn't get much on the throw as he tried to throw a deep out that the 49ers Safety easily undercut. The 49ers returned it deep into Saints territory and quickly scored a TD to take the lead less than two minutes into the game. After quickly falling behind 14-0, Brees orchestrated a pair of nice scoring drives to cut the lead to four. The highlight of each drive was a deep pass to Brandin Cooks with the first setting up a field goal and the second resulting in a 31-yard TD strike. Cooks beat single coverage on a go route and Brees placed the ball in the perfect spot to hit Cooks in the end zone for the first Saints TD of the game. Trailing 21-10 in the final minute of the first half, the Saints had an opportunity to gain some momentum going into half after a 49ers fumble gave the Saints the ball in 49ers territory. After a couple completions put the Saints just outside of the red zone, Brees got greedy and tried to hit Jimmy Graham in the end zone. Instead of a TD, he threw an awful interception into triple coverage. Brees must have determined before the snap he was going to Graham as he did a terrible job of recognizing the coverage, which had Graham boxed in on all sides. Brees did make some nice plays in the second half to lead the Saints back and force overtime. Facing 3rd-and-6 in the red zone, Brees faced instant pressure off the edge and made a quick spin move to elude two oncoming rushers and then lobbed it up to Jimmy Graham in the end zone for the touchdown. Trailing by four midway through the 4th quarter, Brees led the Saints on a long TD drive that he capped off with a pretty back shoulder fade to Jimmy Graham to put the Saints up three with under two minutes to play. Brees was almost able to win the game in regulation on a hail mary attempt that Jimmy Graham came down with in the end zone as time expired. However, Graham was called for offensive pass interference and the game went to overtime. The Saints won the toss but were unable to do anything on their first possession. On the second possession, backed up deep in Saints territory Brees fumbled the game away. He had plenty of time to make a throw, but nobody was open and he pump faked and stayed in the pocket far too long. He had the ball up and away from his body when the DE finally arrived and slapped it out of his hand. The 49ers recovered and kicked the game-winning field goal.

2014 Week 11 vs CIN (33 / 41 / 255 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)

Brees played well but was never able to get rolling as the Bengals' defense played bend-but-don't-break and the Bengals' offense bled the clock which limited the Saints' number of offensive possessions. The Saints' inability to get anything going in the running game on 1st and 2nd down left Brees facing 3rd-and-long way too often. Brees was great on 3rd downs though and converted 5-of-6 into 1st downs to start the game. The Bengals were able to get key stops once the Saints reached the red zone though. On the first offensive possession of the game the Saints marched down the field with Brees dinking and dunking successfully. However, the Saints offense stalled inside the Bengals 20 having to settle for a short FG. The second drive, the Saints again had a long, time-consuming drive that ended with six plays inside the Bengals 10-yard-line. After Ingram was stuffed a couple times, Sean Payton decided to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the one-yard-line. Brees ran play action and found his FB Eric Lorig just short of the goal line, but the Bengals LB and Safety closed fast and stoned him just shy of the end zone. The Bengals offense also sustained long drives and the Saints did not get their 3rd offensive possession until very late in the first half, which seemed to clearly frustrate Brees. With the Saints in their 2-minute-offense, Brees had the ball at midfield facing 3rd down. He felt pressure, scrambled left and took off for a long gain. The play was called back due to holding however and the Saints were not able to convert the 3rd and long. Brees used a quick snap to confuse the defense and throw his only TD of the day. With the Saints facing 3rd-and-4 from the Bengals nine-yard line, the Saints lined up quickly and Brees hit a wide open Kenny Stills running short left towards the left sideline and Stills was able to dive into the end zone for the score. Overall, it was a frustrating day for Brees who watched helplessly as the Bengals marched down the field on many long drives. The Bengals' defense took away the deep ball and forced Brees to nibble off small chunks of yardage, which left very little margin for error, as one penalty on the Saints offense would effectively kill a drive.

2014 Week 12 vs BAL (35 / 45 / 420 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 15 / 0 rush)

This game was more of the same for Brees and the Saints: an otherwise great performance with one backbreaking mistake that cost the team the game. With the Saints running game effectively useless against the Ravens stout front seven, the Saints had to rely upon the passing game to move the ball. Brees was able to carve up a depleted Ravens' secondary and ten different Saints had receptions as Brees really spread the ball around and got everyone involved. Brees led a long drive to start the game that again stalled out at the 1-yard line as the Saints turned it over on downs after Ingram was stuffed at the one. On the previous play, Brees scrambled and nearly got into the end zone, but was hauled down a yard short. Brees hit Joe Morgan with a pretty deep ball that Morgan was able to catch in stride and take for a 72-yard-gain. Two players later, he hit Jimmy Graham for a 10-yard-TD on a wheel route. Brees just missed a TD pass to Graham in the 2nd quarter. Graham ran a quick out route from the two-yard line and had the defender boxed out, but the throw was slightly behind him allowing the Safety to get a hand on the ball and knock it away. Brees has mastered the two minute drill at the end of the first half and led an 81-yard-TD drive in 1:51 seconds to end the first half. The two big plays on the drive were both to Marques Colston with the first going for 19-yards down the middle of the field to get the Saints into field goal range. After a spike, Brees again found Colston, this time for a 26-yard-TD down the left seam. Brees pump faked to freeze the Safety and then threw a pretty pass to Colston between the CB and Safety. Brees' big mistake came on the first drive of the 3rd quarter with the game tied 17-17. He attempted to hit Graham on a crossing route but facing some pressure threw the ball two yards behind Graham allowing the Ravens' defender to undercut the route and grab the interception which he returned 44 yards for a TD to take the lead. The Pick Six was followed by a 3 and out and the Saints never really threatened again, though Brees racked up some garbage time stats late, including a short TD throw to Jimmy Graham with :40 seconds left. Overall, it was a relatively strong game from Brees except for a couple missed throws that led to the Saints having to settle for three points and of course the game-changing interception that was the turning point in the game and led to the Saints' third straight home defeat.


New Orleans Saints Team Links

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Staff Dynasty Rankings

QB Dynasty - 5, 3, 6, 8, 10
Overall Dynasty - 73, 57

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13@ Pittsburgh Steelers
14vs Carolina Panthers
15@ Chicago Bears
16vs Atlanta Falcons
17@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers