Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock this season, you’re probably aware of a headline-grabbing battle for passing supremacy in the NFL. New Orleans Saints super-slinger Drew Brees passed for 307 yards on Monday night versus the Atlanta Falcons, which pushed his season total to 5,087 yards – three more than Dolphins’ Hall of Fame signal-caller Dan Marino passed for when he set the all-time, single-season record in 1984. It was a gutsy performance by Brees, who threw for four touchdowns as he led his teammates to a 45-16 thrashing of the Dirty Birds at home.
One day before Brees broke the record, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady had a pretty decent day himself. Following a dismal start against Marino’s old team (7-for-19, 87 yards, two interceptions), Tom Terrific caught fire with his incredibly deep receiving corps in the second half and finished the game with 304 yards passing, one TD toss and a pair of one-yard scoring plunges he took himself. The Patriots, who were losing 17-0 at halftime, came back and won the game, 27-24, and when the dust had settled, Brady’s season total for passing yards read: 4,897.
Truth be told, when their heads hit their respective pillows on Sunday night, Brady was actually ahead of Brees by 117 yards. But then again, Brees was due to play his 15th game of the season the next day. Which all leads me to this weekend’s prediction: When the Patriots host the Bills (one of the few teams to beat New England this year), Brady will exact revenge on the wagon-circlers by not only handing them their 10th loss of the season, but also by passing for 425 yards. Brady will surpass Marino’s old record as well and wind up with 5,322. But Brees, who will be hosting Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in The Big Easy, will calmly throw for 275 yards. The Saints will beat the Panthers, but more importantly, Brees will outdistance Brady in the end by a mere 40 yards and wind up with 5,362 for the season.
When football historians look back at the 2011 NFL season, they will have many outstanding accomplishments to ponder, not the least of which will be the returning champion Packers going 15-1. But the achievement(s) which should stand the test of time for at least another 27 years will be that of the dueling quarterbacks named Brady and Brees making history together, one pass completion at a time.
Terry Melia is the former longtime Public Relations Manager for the Upper Deck Company and a freelance writer living in San Diego. His prose will be filling this Blog as often as he can spin them.