Brees Struggles End Saints Playoff Hopes

When the New Orleans Saints needed quarterback Drew Brees the most to make a playoff run, the http://www.espn.com/blog/new-orleans-saints/post/_/id/24810/drew-brees-offense-fails-saints-for-second-straight-week-in-loss-to-bucs">future Hall of Fame quarterback let them down. He has thrown six interceptions and zero touchdowns in his last two games.

The http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/standings/playoffrace">Saints are still mathematically alive for the playoff, but it seems highly unlikely that they get to the postseason. New Orleans will need all kinds of help, Brees must play better, but it seems more likely that the team will http://www.espn.com/blog/new-orleans-saints/post/_/id/24820/playing-for-pride-might-be-all-thats-left-for-saints-this-season">miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

On Dec. 4 at home against the Detroit Lions, Brees failed to throw for a touchdown in the 28-13 loss. He threw three interceptions and http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874717">posted a 63.3 quarterback rating.

It was the http://www.espn.com/nfl/recap?gameId=400874717">first time in 60 home games that Brees failed to throw a touchdown pass. It was a surprising loss of power for one of the top offenses in the NFL, as Brees threw for 326 yards but could lead his team into the end zone just once during the game. That was a one-yard touchdown, which fullback John Kuhn ran.

Brees might have played his worst game as a Saint the next week, Dec. 11, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the second game in a row, Brees threw three interceptions and zero touchdowns.

It was the first time since the 2009 season in weeks three and four that Brees didn’t throw a touchdown in back-to-back games, but this is the http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2016/12/saints_drew_brees_has_rare_bac.html">first time in his career that he has thrown three interceptions in back-to-back games.

Brees posted a http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/2580/drew-brees">48.5 passer rating and had his lowest output for passing yards this season by throwing for just 257 yards. He did pass 4,000 yards for the 11th straight season, which extends his NFL record for the most straight 4,000-passing-yard seasons.

Since getting back to .500 at 4-4, the Saints have lost four of their last five games. The one bright spot was a 49-21 blowout win over the lowly Los Angeles Rams.

Those same Rams just fired head coach Jeff Fisher on a week that they play Thursday Night Football, which means it wasn’t that much of a bright spot for the Saints overall.

In the four losses, Brees has thrown five touchdowns and nine interceptions. This season. he has thrown 14 touchdowns and three interceptions in wins and 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in losses.

Brees has a http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/splits/_/id/2580/drew-brees">56.2 passer rating in the two games played in December. When the weather gets colder, that is when NFL quarterbacks are supposed to be at their best, but that hasn’t been the case this season with Brees.

It would be wrong to say he was at fault for every interception thrown during the last two games, but he did throw some bad passes that ended up being picked off. Brees will be the first player to take the blame for mistakes the Saints offense made, and he should as the highest paid one.

The last three weeks of the season bare watching to see if Brees’ two-game stretch was a bad couple of weeks or something more. It is shocking when a player of his caliber struggles like he did the last two games.

Still, the Saints may not go to the playoffs, and Brees is a major reason. How the team plays the final three weeks might change the future of New Orleans.


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