NFL Analyst Breaks Down Drew Brees' Passing Record

Brees' record has a lot to do with, well, Brees, but Sean Payton, rule changes, and the pass-happy era in which he's played certainly helped

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 10, 2018 - 10:09 am

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As NFL passing records are broken and milestones are reached, some analysts question whether these achievements are, in part, products of the era that we’re in.

Fair? Unfair?

“Well, there’s certainly merit to that,”’s Russell Baxter said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “It’s also the product of being in Sean Payton’s offensive system. It is also the product of being on a team that, more times than not, has not had the greatest defense in the world. But it’s also very much a product of Drew Brees’ durability.”

Brees has played 16 games 12 times in his career and 15 games three times. He has five 5,000-yard seasons on his resume.

“Drew Brees is one of the great passers of all time,” Baxter said. “As we know, 5,000-yard passing seasons don’t necessarily add up to championships. They never have. I always remind people: We’ve had 52 Super Bowl champions, and not once has a quarterback led the league in passing yards and won the Super Bowl in the same season. But it shows his durability and his resiliency.”

Brees turns 40 in January, but you wouldn't know that from his production. 

“The thing about Drew Brees that amazes me is he doesn’t look like he shows any signs of slowing down whatsoever because he has stayed healthy,” Baxter said. “That’s what you see a lot with some of these modern quarterbacks. You’re seeing these long streaks of durability. Plus, the rules have a lot to do with it.”

While Brees is the NFL’s all-time passing leader, don’t expect that record to last forever. Especially as rule changes continue to favor the offense.

“Oh, I don’t think there’s any question about it,” Baxter said. “I hear a lot of comparisons between Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, but Drew Brees has been playing in the league since 2001. Tom Brady has been a starter since 2001. You can’t ignore that. System, health, longevity of players, especially at the quarterback position – longevity certainly increases when you’re not allowed to put your body weight on them.”