A World Championship and the game’s MVP after winning Super Bowl XLIV ten years ago. An incredible 12 Pro Bowl appearances. And the holder of an entire handful of NFL records.
And yet now as he heads into what will be the 19th year of his brilliant Pro Football career, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, is still looking to achieve the one accomplishment that’s always eluded him: the League’s award for its Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Can the new 2019 NFL Season that begins in earnest starting with today’s scheduled games, finally be the year that the ageless 40-year old future NFL Hall of Famer and living legend wins that elusive honor?
Brees opponent on the opposite side of the field tomorrow night — Houston Texans 3rd year QB Deshuan Watson — is among those who believe that this year could be the one.
As noted by NBC.com Pro Football Talk, the 23-year old Watson has marveled at what the Saints’ most beloved player in its entire 53-year franchise history, has been able achieve up to this point.
“It’s amazing — 18, 19, 20 years. That’s crazy,” Watson told reporters Tuesday. “I’ve only been alive for 23 years, so it’s amazing to see what he’s done. Actually this summer I was looking at his stats and seeing the amount of years he’s had 5,000 yards, 5,000 yards, 5,000 yards, 4,000 yards and just constantly doing it repeatedly every year. It’s crazy to think – correct me if I’m wrong – that he’s never had an MVP, which is very mind blowing”.
“I think he probably had a Super Bowl MVP but never a regular season MVP. I mean, it’s just mind-blowing to even think that, but also just the numbers and the stats and the things he’s doing. He’s a guy that I look up to”, Watson admitted.
.”I know him. Every time I see him we communicate and talk. I’ve seen him a couple of times this summer. He’s a great guy, a great role model, great family guy, great father, always has his kids around and playing around with those guys. He’s a guy that for sure I look up to, and for anybody that’s younger trying to be a quarterback at this level, everyone should look up to.”
Watson added that he hopes that he will still be playing 17 years from now when he’s 40, just like Brees will be doing this season..
“That’s the goal, play until I’m 43 or 45, or however long,” Watson said.
“Yeah, that’s the ultimate goal, try to take it one year at a time. It goes by fast as they always say. I’m already year three. I feel like I just got here, but yeah, those guys are setting the tone for especially all of the younger guys in the league that play until they’re 40 years old.”
To that point, Brees threw for 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns last season, with a career-best completion rate of 74.4 percent as the Saints finished with a (13-3) win-loss record and were one controversial call away from reaching the Super Bowl.
And a majority of NFL observers and analysts that cover the NFL., believe that Brees can put up big numbers again this season, as the Saints desperately try to win a 2nd Super Bowl title before his “window of opportunity” finally closes shut for good.
Looking back at least season in 2018, Brees finished with the highest completion percentage in his 18th NFL season, was tied for the 2nd-fewest interceptions and achieved the 2nd-highest quarterback rating (115.7) in his career.
Numbers-wise, Brees should remain one of the League’s very best quarterbacks in 2019. And like a fine wine that gets better with age over time, Brees has remarkably done so in spite of his advancing age.
The award itself is presented by the Associated Press, which has presented an MVP award since 1957. The MVP winner is determined by a panel of 50 sports writers at the end of the regular season but right before the playoffs. The results aren’t revealed to the public until the night before the Super Bowl, during what is known as the annual “NFL Honors” ceremony.
Will this FINALLY be the year that it all comes together for him and allows Brees to “go out on top” such as players before him like John Elway or Peyton Manning were able to?
That remains to be seen — but given all that he has been able to achieve in the past two decades under center, perhaps the most beloved Saints player of all-time simply is just saving his best for last….