Brady's bunch sees Chargers have a QB, too

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LT teh ghost

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2005

FOXBORO, Mass. – So, which team was it again that was supposed to have the best quarterback in football?

On the visiting sideline was Drew Brees, considered by many to be the guy who gets to hand off to the best running back in the game and throw to arguably the best tight end.

Advantage, Patriots?

Not on this day.

"He is a great quarterback, has been for a while now," Brees said of Brady. "The way I approach the game, I didn't look at this game as Drew Brees vs. Tom Brady. I just knew that if I went out and did my job on every play, we would win.

"I just approached it like that. At the end of the game, it's something for the media and everybody else to look at and compare stats and all that."

OK, let's compare.

Brady: 19-of-32, 224 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 78.1 rating.

Brees: 19-of-24, 248 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, 137.5 rating.

"You know, he's a good quarterback," Chargers tight end Justin Peelle said of Brees. "People don't give him credit. Everyone says LT is a great running back and obviously you have Antonio (Gates). But someone's got to drive the car. He does a great job. He manages the game well, finds the open receiver, distributes the ball and runs our offense."

No one was ready to have Brees pose for a bust in Canton, but it was the second straight week he compiled numbers normally seen only in skeleton drills at practice. In those two games, he has completed almost 83 percent of his passes (38-of-46) for 439 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also has not been sacked, a fact Brees was quick to note.

"Our O-linemen did a heck of a job," he said. "I don't think you understand how hard it is to go no-huddle as an O-lineman, just to get up there play after play, run block, pass block, run block, pass block, just keep going and going. Those guys are warriors and they just battled all game long."

The same could be said of Brees, who is leading the NFL's hottest offense, one with 10 touchdowns (not counting an interception return yesterday) in the last two weeks. He ranks fourth in the league with a 99.2 quarterback rating.

"Although we started off 0-2, I feel like we're in a great rhythm right now," Brees said. "We scored 45 points last week, 41 this week. That's the kind of output we want as an offense and a team."

As they did a week ago against the Giants, the Chargers got a productive rushing game from LaDainian Tomlinson (134 yards, two TDs), but the big story was Brees' performance on third down. The Chargers missed their first three opportunities yesterday, with Brees throwing incomplete passes on two third-and-2 chances, but after that they were perfect for about 2½ quarters.

Seven chances (with an average distance of 6.6 yards), seven conversions, all on passes from Brees. Three went to Gates, one to Tomlinson, one to Eric Parker and two to Reche Caldwell, including a 28-yard touchdown that gave San Diego a 31-17 lead late in the third quarter.

"The game is all about situational football," said Brees, who is 21-of-29 on third down this season with a phenomenal 124.1 rating.

"I felt like we were getting in a rhythm, getting on a roll, moving the ball down the field, trying to wear them down and getting points. That's something we take a lot of pride in."

After the game, Brees was able to spend a few moments with the Patriots' "other" quarterback, his good friend and mentor, Doug Flutie.

"Doug, what can you say?" Brees said. "He's obviously an important part of what I felt like was the development of my career and just a good friend."