By Soren Petro, Sports Radio 810
Monday Night Football was a celebration of the career of Drew Brees, and rightfully so. Brees passed Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to lay claim to the NFL’s career passing touchdown record. On a night where Brees was nearly perfect, he completed 29 of 30 passes for 304 yards and four TD’s bringing his career total to 541. This comes just a year after he claimed the all-time passing yardage record. Brees has now thrown for 76,884 yards which is 2,805 yards more than Tom Brady who sits second.
“Records were made to be broken” the saying goes. So, who will break Brees’s records? Brady is a year-and-a-half older than Brees and the way he looks this year, is unlikely to catch Brees in either of these categories. Aaron Rodgers has shown there is plenty of football left in him, but he is still getting up there at 36. Perhaps, the next real challenger that’s playing today is Russell Wilson. He just turned 31 and was able to begin piling up the numbers by starting day one as a rookie. After that you have to look at Kansas City’s own, Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes didn’t start as a rookie but neither did Brees. In fact, if you compare the first three seasons for Brees with the first three of Mahomes so far, you get a pretty fair comparison. As of this week, Mahomes has played in one more game than Brees did his first three years. Below is how the numbers compare between Mahomes right now and Brees at the end of his third season…
Let’s look deeper, how does Mahomes rank against the top five in yards and TD’s all-time? What about the rest of the major statistical categories? Below, is a break-down of how Mahomes ranks against the top five all-time along with Rodgers and Wilson. Keep in mind Mahomes still has two more games to add to his totals. Also, the BOLD numbers represent who ranks first in each category.
You quickly notice that Manning and Wilson started every game their first three seasons and Marino the majority of them. That gives them a big advantage in the totals at this point in their career. But keep in mind, Brees was way behind Manning and Marino at the same time in his career and ended up on top of both, and by a wide margin over Marino. It’s amazing how much of Marino’s Hall of Fame credentials rest on the prolific totals he posted during his first four seasons. The rest of his career is simply good, not great.
What stands out the most about Mahomes in the comparison is how he dominates the percentages and per game/attempt numbers. He tops the list in the following categories, and by a wide margin in many of them…
- Completion Percentage
- Touchdown Percentage
- Interception Percentage
- Passer Rating
Legendary Ohio St. coach Woody Hayes famously said, “statistics are for losers.” If you subscribe to this theory, then keep in mind those stats drove Mahomes to the second highest win percentage.
Who ever it is that breaks the records set by Drew Brees, they are going to have to play for a long time, especially considering Brees doesn’t look like a guy that needs to retire any time soon. But they are going to have to get off to a hot start in their career as well. Rodgers had to sit for three years behind Brett Favre and that will probably keep him from catching Brees. Wilson has the kind of start it will take, but he’s been sacked 341 times and counting. In fact, he’s only been sacked less than 40 times in a season once. At some point you would think that has to wear down his body.
That leaves Mahomes as the guy with the best chance to take down Brees. Just for the fun of it, let’s say Brees hangs it up after this season. If Mahomes wants to catch him at the same age, he’ll need to average 29.25 Touchdown Passes and 4,244 Yards per season for the next 16 years. Stay tuned!
NOTE: I’ll update these numbers at the end of the regular season.