METAIRIE, La. — Never before in his professional career has Drew Brees has to overcome a five interception game.
This week, that’s exactly what he’s looking to do.
Unfortunately for him, however, is that the turnover party took place on a Thursday night, giving him an extra three days to stew over his nationally televised meltdown.
Yet, while you might expect him to take a long, hard look at how he plays the game, you shouldn’t.
He’s not going to change; instead, he’ll learn from it and move on.
“You stay aggressive,” Brees said Wednesday. “You stay confident. You trust your confidence. If you don’t have that as a quarterback in this league, you can’t play.”
Brees is tied with Indianapolis rookie quarterback Andrew Luck for most interceptions in the NFL with 16. He has tossed seven interceptions in the past seven quarters of football, including two that were returned for touchdowns in the loss to San Francisco.
Additionally, Brees is 27th in the league in percentage of his passes intercepted (3.3).
“I understand the important of taking care of the football,” Brees said. “I understand the percentages and the odds and the way those are affected for teams that are able to take it away and able to protect it. Certainly the last two weeks has been an inordinate amount of turnovers and it can’t happen. It’s something I’ve got to fix. I will do my best to do that.”
Nevertheless, Brees playing as he does gives the Saints a chance. He leads the NFL with 31 touchdown passes and he’s second in yards with 3,674.
Thanks to Brees, the Saints are in the top eight in points per game, scoring 26.8 per contest through 12 games.
And, oh yeah, his teammates don’t want, nor expect, their leader to do anything differently.
“If you come into a game and you go 25 for 28 for 400 yards and six touchdowns, it’s awfully easy to go into the next week and think that you’re the greatest thing to ever walk on a football field and have a letdown and he didn’t do that either,” right tackle Zach Strief said. “His consistency and preparation, I can’t imagine being bettered by anybody in the league. Drew is going to bounce back.”
Interim head coach Joe Vitt wouldn’t just place the blame on Brees, instead saying the responsibility is on everyone on offense.
“Drew is going to play better; he’s going to work his butt off to play better,” Vitt told New York media in a conference call. “It doesn’t start; it doesn’t end with Drew Brees. We have to protect better, we have to run the ball better, we have to play better defense, we have to have more three-and-outs on defense, we have to get our return game going, we have to play better in the fourth quarter.
“There’s a long laundry list of things that we have to do better before we put Drew Brees’ name in there.”
Still, Brees knows the offense runs through him and, in the past two games, that hasn’t been enough.
His mistakes have hurt New Orleans and he knows it.
“My decisions drive the offense in a lot of cases,” Brees said. “I’ve got to be on point like I expect to be, like I’m preparing to be."