Drew Brees is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. Whether you have him at number one or not, he’s still in the discussion for the game’s best. You can almost make a case that Brees should be in the conversation for league MVP every season, because he means more to the New Orleans Saints than almost any other player to their respective team. But in 2012, Brees just didn’t have enough around him to overcome the obstacles put in place by Bountygate.
The Saints had one of the stranger seasons for an NFL franchise, with multiple players and coaches suspended. Never before has a head coach been suspended for an entire season, but Sean Payton broke down that wall in 2012.
All of the suspensions, and turmoil in general, took a toll on New Orleans, and they limped to 7-9 finish. It was the first time they missed the playoffs since 2008, and they now sit with much uncertainty heading into 2013.
Brees did all he could to try and will the Saints into the postseason, but even his greatness was not enough. He just couldn’t overcome playing with the league’s worst defense, and alongside the eighth worst rushing attack.
Long story short – Brees needs help.
The Saints are not going to get back to a Super Bowl level until they put a respectable defense on the field, and until Mark Ingram emerges as a legitimate starting running back. Brees needs his teammates to take some pressure off of him, because as witnessed last year, he can’t do it all. Furthermore, Brees is 34, and his days of being one of the best are numbered. I’m certainly not predicting a rapid decline, but age will catch up to him in the next few years. The Saints must capitalize while he’s still in his prime, and surround him with better talent starting next season.