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Opponent Stat Tracker: Drew Brees

New and Improved! Now with even more chart goodness!

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Weekly dashboard of QB stats. Thanks to the nflscrapR project and the NFL Next Gen Stats who are the timely sources of this data. Shout-out to Arrowhead Pride’s Ethan Douglas whose weekly advanced analytics articles inspired some of these reports (OK, I stole them). Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything.

(click charts for larger view)

In week 15, the Colts will travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints on Monday Night Football (assuming the game isn’t flexed to 10am). For Colts fans that will be sober enough to actually watch the game, here are some stats that show what you might see from the Saints passing game.


Drew Brees is the real deal. He has only played 7 games so far this year, but 5 of them were outstanding.

For those of you confused by what a good passing game looks like — and I know there are a lot of you — here is Brees against the 49ers. Lots of green, both in play volume (passing success rate) and in total area (EPA per dropback).

Expect a lot of this Monday.


So there’s Michael Thomas and then . . . some other guys. At least we know who is going to kick our ass ahead of time.


Brees is one of the QBs who hasn’t thrown far, but makes up for it by throwing really well. This is why aDOT isn’t that important . . . as long as you are a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Like Jacoby Brissett, Brees’ average touchdown range is very short.


He lives between 0 and 10 yards downfield. . .

. . and he lives well. So, while he can certainly throw the long ball, prepare for death by a thousand underneath routes.


Dead-on balls accurate. It’s an industry term.


He gets rid of the ball quickly and rarely takes sacks.