QB Watch: Saints' Drew Brees

October, 23, 2013
10/23/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the New Orleans Saints' quarterback play:

Brees
Rewind: The Saints had a bye in Week 7. Before that, they suffered their first loss of the season in a last-second, 30-27 heartbreaker at New England. Brees didn't have his best day, though he nearly pulled off another come-from-behind win of his own with a beautiful 34-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Kenny Stills late in the fourth quarter.

Overall, Brees has been excellent this season. He's had some dominant performances. And even when he had off days at New England and at Tampa Bay in Week 2, he was clutch in the fourth quarter. He ranks second in the NFL with 326.3 yards per game, with 14 touchdown passes and five interceptions. His Total QBR of 72.6 ranks fourth in the NFL.

Fast-forward: Brees will be back in his element Sunday inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the Buffalo Bills (3-4). However, he might be missing some of his key weapons. Go-to tight end Jimmy Graham will be questionable this week with a foot injury, and it's unknown if receiver Lance Moore is close to returning from a hand injury yet. Still, Brees has plenty of options, including veteran receiver Marques Colston, veteran running back Darren Sproles and the developing Stills.

Spreading the wealth: Brees continues to prove that his favorite receiver is the open one. He threw TD passes to Stills and second-year running back Travaris Cadet at New England -- both of which were career firsts. Brees has now thrown TD passes to 44 different players in his 13-year career with the Saints and San Diego Chargers (a total of 338, which ranks sixth in NFL history).

Prediction: Brees still manages a big day with 300-plus yards and two touchdown passes as the Saints win for the fifth consecutive year following their bye.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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