June 17, 2014

MVP Profile: Drew Brees, 2011

Quarterback, New Orleans Saints

Age:  32
11th season in pro football, 6th with Saints
College: Purdue
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 209

Chosen by the San Diego Chargers in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft, Brees spent a year as backup to veteran Doug Flutie before taking over as starting quarterback in ’02. A good first year as starter was followed by a season in which he had difficulties, and the Chargers swung the deal that brought rookie Philip Rivers to San Diego in 2004. Brees bounced back that year with a Pro Bowl season in which his passer rating was 104.8. He badly injured his shoulder in the last game of the ’05 season, the final year of his contract, and with the team committing to Rivers, Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints and was a consensus first-team All-Pro who was selected to the Pro Bowl in ’06, leading the NFL with 4418 passing yards and guiding the Saints, with a high-powered offense, to the NFC Championship game. In 2007, Brees started poorly and the team didn’t do as well, but he recovered to lead the league in pass attempts (652) and completions (440) while throwing for another 4423 yards. He had another Pro Bowl year in ’08 in which he led the NFL in passing yards (5069), TD passes (34), pass attempts (635) and completions (413) and the Saints reached the top in 2009, with the quarterback leading the league in TD passes (34), completion percentage (70.6), and passing overall (109.6) while the club won the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Brees threw for 4620 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2010 and led the NFL in completion percentage (68.1). However, he also threw a career-high 22 interceptions and, while the team qualified for the postseason as a Wild Card with an 11-5 record, the Saints were upset in the first round of the playoffs by Seattle.

2011 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 657 [2]
Most attempts, game – 49 at Green Bay 9/8
Completions – 468 [1]
Most completions, game – 36 at Tennessee 12/11
Yards – 5476 [1]
Most yards, game – 419 at Green Bay 9/8
Completion percentage – 71.2 [1]
Yards per attempt – 8.3 [6]
TD passes – 46 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 5 vs. Indianapolis 10/23, at Minnesota 12/18, vs. Carolina 1/1
Interceptions – 14 [10, tied with four others]
Most interceptions, game – 3 at Tampa Bay 10/16
Passer rating – 110.6 [2]
400-yard passing games – 2
300-yard passing games – 13
200-yard passing games – 16

Attempts – 21
Most attempts, game - 4 (for -1 yds.) vs. Houston 9/25
Yards – 86
Most yards, game – 21 yards (on 3 carries) at Tampa Bay 10/16
Yards per attempt – 4.1
TDs – 1

TDs – 1
2-pt PAT – 3 [1]
Points – 12

Postseason: 2 G
Pass attempts – 106
Most attempts, game - 63 at San Francisco, NFC Divisional playoff
Pass completions – 73
Most completions, game - 40 at San Francisco, NFC Divisional playoff
Passing yardage – 928
Most yards, game – 466 vs. Detroit, NFC Wild Card playoff
TD passes – 7
Most TD passes, game - 4 at San Francisco, NFC Divisional playoff
Interceptions – 2
Most interceptions, game – 2 at San Francisco, NFC Divisional playoff

Rushing attempts – 5
Most rushing attempts, game – 4 vs. Detroit, NFC Wild Card playoff
Rushing yards – 4
Most rushing yards, game - 5 at San Francisco, NFC Divisional playoff
Average gain rushing – 0.8
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: AP
2nd team All-NFL: AP, Pro Football Focus
Pro Bowl

Saints went 13-3 to finish first in the NFC South while leading the NFL in total yards (7474) and passing yards (5347). Won NFC Wild Card playoff over Detroit Lions (45-28). Lost NFC Divisional playoff to San Francisco 49ers (36-32).

After setting a new single-season record in 2011, Brees had another 5000-yard passing season (5177) in 2012 and again topped the NFL in TD passes (43). He also broke the record long held by Johnny Unitas for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, a streak which finally ended at 54. However, he also led in interceptions (19) over the course of a difficult year for the club both on and off the field. New Orleans rebounded in 2013 and Brees led the NFC with 5162 yards and 39 TD passes. Through 2013, he had completed 65.9 percent of his career passes for 51,081 yards and 363 TDs and had been selected to the Pro Bowl eight times, including a current string of six straight.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).