In the biggest upset of the season, the New Orleans Saints got wrecked by the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, November 10th. The game ended a six-game winning streak for the Saints and ended the Falcons’s six-game losing streak. The last time in NFL history a team with at least six straight losses beat a team with at least six consecutive wins was back in 2001. Prior to that, it happened in 1973. Needless to say, what happened was rare. So, how did a team 7-1 lose to a team 1-7?
Back in September, quarterback Drew Brees injured his thumb in a game against the Los Angeles Rams. In his absence, 27-year-old Teddy Bridgewater stepped up. He played for seven consecutive games, and during that time, the team went 6-1. With Bridgewater, the Saints beat the Seahawks, the Cowboys, the Buccs, the Jaguars, and the Bears. The only game they lost was against the Rams when Brees got injured. In the four games Brees played in, the team lost two games. With Alvin Kamara and Brees back in the game, the Saints were favorited -13.5 to win against the Falcons week 10.
In the total seven games Bridgewater played in, he had 1,370 passing yards, six wins, a 67.7% completion rate, nine touchdowns, 11 sacks, and 37 rushing yards. Let’s break these numbers down to find his averages per game.
Broken down it’s 195.7 passing yards, a 85.7% win rate, the same completion rate, 1.28 touch downs, 1.57 sacks, and 5.2 rushing yards. The dramatic difference between passing and rushing yards can be argued that since Bridgewater is so fresh, the team decided to protect him and buy him time to throw the ball rather than risk him running.
Looking at Brees, we’ll look at his four games this season. Considering he’s a veteran of the football, it can be assumed his performance this season is similar to his normal distribution throughout the season. So, he has 1,068 passing yards, two wins, 74.3% completion rate, five touchdowns, seven sacks, and zero rushing yards.
At first glance, they are similar to Bridgewater’s numbers considering Bridgewater played in almost twice as many games as Brees. Those numbers averaged are 267 passing yards, 50% win rate, same completion rate, 1.25 touchdowns, 1.75 sacks, and zero rushing yards.
Now, looking at the averages of both players, it’s easy to see that Brees is more experienced due to his completion rate and his yardage. They have similar touchdown and sacked averages, with Bridgewater having .03 more touchdowns and .18 fewer sacks than Brees.
Throughout his career, Brees has a 67.4% completion rate, and Bridgewater has a 65.2%. FiveThirtyEight suggested at the beginning of the season that Drew Brees may on the decline due to his age. He’s older and not as agile as he used to be. And being held to nine points by the Atlanta Falcons surely supports that theory. The Saints were 3-12 on 3rd downs and 0-3 for 4th downs. While 258 yards were passed, the team received too many penalties, and was 0-3 for the redzone.
Undoubtedly, the New Orleans Saints are still strong team. However, it maybe time to let Drew Brees age and give Teddy Bridgewater his turn again. Catch the post game interview below.