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Saints Dominate Redskins on Brees’ Big Night

Zach Strief
October 09, 2018 - 4:03 pm
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The New Orleans Saints put on a clinic for all the country to see on Monday Night Football.  Right out of the gates the Saints made it clear they were the superior team.  After forcing a 3 and out defensively, Drew Brees and the Saints went right to work traveling 64 yards in just 6 plays to take an early 6-0 lead.  It’s a lead the Saints would never lose.  

The rest of the evening went according to plan.  Drew broke the NFL’s all-time passing record on a 62-yard strike to rookie 3rd round pick TreQuan Smith late in the 2nd quarter.  It gave all of us the time to properly acknowledge what had just happened.  The Saints would go on to score 34 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and the game was pretty much out of reach by the time the 4th quarter rolled around.  

It reminded many of us of years that a primetime game in the Superdome was not only an automatic win, but a likely blowout.  

The defense continued their rapid improvement after a slow start to the season.  They continue to be led by their front seven, which held the number 5 running game to just 2.2 yards per carry and applied consistent pressure on Alex Smith all night long.  

It was fun to watch, but all of it was was icing on the top of Drew Brees’ big cake.  He would go 26 of 29 for 363 yards with 3 touchdowns.  It was a record-breaking performance for his 89.7% completion percentage and a historical performance, when he broke Peyton Manning’s all-time passer record on a 62-yard bomb to Tre’Quan Smith.

There are times in everyone’s life that you know, you’ll never forget.  The birth of your child, your wedding day, your life’s great accomplishments and failures, are all moments you’ll always remember.  For me, calling the play that Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time leading passer, is a moment I will never forget.  

I sat down Monday night to write this and I thought to myself, why is a simple passing record something that means so much to me?  I was never one to take myself too seriously as a player.  Always conscience of having a false sense, that football was more important than it was.  So why then is this record, that I wasn’t even on the field for, drawing emotions out of me.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized, it has nothing to do with the record, it’s not about the stat, it’s about what it means for the person who achieved it.  

For 19 years Drew has sacrificed for the people around him.  He has missed time with his wife, his children, his friends and spent it working to be great for his teammates.  I was not a great player.  I relied on a lot to be successful in the NFL.  Nothing was relied on more than Drew Brees.  I relied on him to be in the pocket when he was supposed to be.  I trusted he would get the ball out of his hand on time.  I believed that he would direct us to the right protections.  He in turn trusted we would listen to his commands and find ways to keep him upright.  It’s a mutual trust that builds a bond that’s hard for me to explain.  I believe my career was longer, more successful and more lucrative because Drew Brees never let me down.  He never betrayed my trust, he never turned his back on any of us, he always came through.  I’m not the only player that experienced this.  That’s why that moment was special to so many of us who got to play with Drew.  

Drew Brees earned this record every day of the past 19 years.  He earned it, not by being the most talented and not by being on one day, and off the next.  He worked for it every day, in everything he did.  There are plenty of football “experts” who will try to convince you there are all these reasons that Drew has accomplished what he has.  None of those experts have seen Drew Brees day in and day out.  None of them have been in the huddle and seen his intensity… in a walk through.  Without that, you will never understand why he is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.  Not the most talented, not the most exciting, not the most decorated, but easily the most consistent.  Consistently great, consistently humble, consistently deserving of every good thing that happens to him.  I will never forget Monday night, because it was the night my friend finally got what he deserved.

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