Nov 17, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the 49ers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

How Will Drew Brees Fare Against the Seahawks?


 

For a couple of years now the Seattle Seahawks have been a tough team to pass against. The Legion of Boom has achieved a great deal of notoriety and they deserve the credit. Until this year they have done it without an especially good pass rush on their strength in coverage alone. Now the Seahawks have an embarrassment of riches in the pass rushing department and this defense is more capable than ever of shutting down opposing passing offenses. If you were to construct a hypothetically quarterback comprised of all the performances against the Seahawks this year that quarterback would look something like this:

Completions

Attempts

Yards

Completion %

Yards per Attempt

Touchdowns

Interceptions

Rating

215

367

2202

58.6%

6.0

12

16

68.6

 

The quarterback with the closest passer rating to 68.6 in 2013 is Terrelle Pryor. Basically, the Seahawks are turning opposing quarterbacks into Terrelle Pryor without his exceptional running ability. You have to like that. Unfortunately, in their next game the Seahawks will be facing a quarterback whose numbers look like this:

Completions

Attempts

Yards

Completion %

Yards per Attempt

Touchdowns

Interceptions

Rating

277

406

3369

68.2%

8.3

26

8

106.7

 

As it happens, Drew Brees is a pretty good quarterback. In arguably the most important game of the season the Seahawks will be facing a passing game to be feared. However, when Drew Brees takes the field in Seattle he won’t be “Drew Brees: Hall of Fame Quarterback” he will be “Drew Brees facing the best secondary there is”. I thought it would be interesting then to combine the quarterback Drew Brees is with the caliber of quarterbacking that the Seahawks have allowed in 2013 to create a facsimile of the type of player one might expect Drew Brees to be against this defense. Assuming that quarterback production is 50% talent and 50% matchup isn’t exactly scientific, but it is a way to conceptualize what Brees might bring to the CLink. After all, if Drew Brees were to put up his season average performance against a defense this good on the road that would be fairly surprising. Here’s what we get when we create the Brees vs. Seattle hybrid:

Completions

Attempts

Yards

Completion %

Yards per Attempt

Touchdowns

Interceptions

Rating

246

387

2786

63.6%

7.2

19

12

88.5

 

Those numbers are solid, but they aren’t Breesian. As I said before this estimate is descriptive rather than scientific. However, this is the kind of quarterback Brees might be against this tough Seahawks defense. Thinking about it that way makes the upcoming game against the Saints a little less daunting.

In the battle for the top seed in the NFC the Seahawks matchup with the Saints in Week 13 will probably be decisive. The Saints are an excellent team led by an excellent quarterback. However, they are facing an excellent team led by an excellent secondary. If Seattle can’t slow down this Saints passing attack it’s unclear who can. Whatever the result, it should be a strength vs. strength matchup for the ages. If the Seahawks are going to win they are going to need to make Drew Brees look more like the hypothetical version I’ve outlined here than the all-world quarterback he has been since joining the Saints.

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