Let’s face it, the last week hasn’t been very kind to Drew Brees.
Which is not to say Brees had a bad week per se. The only thing we can truly find fault in where Brees was concerned was not putting some air under that would-be touchdown pass for Latavious Murray in the first quarter of Monday night’s game against Houston. Had he just given that ball a little trajectory, Murray would have walked into the end zone with the first touchdown of the game and a lot of the drama which erupted in the fourth quarter might have been avoided.
Instead, Brees threw the ball on a line, linebacker Whitney Mercilus was right there to pick it off, and seven plays and 94 yards later it was the Texans who posted a 7-point lead they would hold until late in the game.
But that’s it. That’s all we can complain about where Brees is concerned. When your quarterback goes 32 or 43 for 370 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and leads your team to a near-impossible 30-28 victory after the other team scores with 37 seconds left on the clock, he’s pretty close to flawless.
But Brees had to overcome a couple of the most ridiculous setbacks anybody in his position should ever have to.
Monday night’s obstacle might have been the most egregious. It happened just before halftime, and given the unconscionably poor officiating the Saints endured in the last game in the Superdome you really wouldn’t expect to see a screw-job like the NFL’s officials laid on the team this time…
The NFL almost reff’ed up again.
In the Saints first game since the NFC Championship “No Call,” another blunder from the referees cost them about 15 seconds of game clock at the end of the first half.
On 3rd-and-17 with 48 seconds left on the clock, Drew Brees threw the ball down the left sideline to Michael Thomas who was tackled just short of getting the first down… or was he?
The Saints ran down the field and snapped the ball with 28 seconds left on the clock to get the 1st down on a quarterback sneak, but the referees blew that play dead to review Thomas’ catch.
After a lengthy (and confusing) review, the referees ruled that Thomas indeed DID get the 1st down. In cases like this, the Saints are given the option to run 10 seconds off the clock or use a timeout to stop the clock from when Michael Thomas hit the turf.
HOWEVER, the refs worked from the clock with 26 seconds left on it, forgetting to bring the clock back to 42 seconds, where it should have been. The Saints lost about 15 seconds of game time in the process at a point in the game where every second is critical.
The Saints went on to miss a 56-yard field goal before halftime.
“Listen, that can’t happen,” Drew Brees said after the game. “That’s a game changer. We ended up having to kick a 58-yard field goal, or whatever it was. If we would have had 15 more seconds? Are you kidding me? We would’ve gotten closer.”
And the NFL’s officials admitted the call was completely blown…
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) September 10, 2019
If Will Lutz, who is as automatic a kicker as there is in the NFL inside of what would be considered a decent field goal range, sets up for a 45 or 50 yard kick at the end of the half because Brees gets one or two more plays to move the team in, Lutz tacks three more points on the board and the Saints go into halftime down 14-6 rather than 14-3.
And in the fourth quarter, the Saints find themselves ahead 30-21 rather than 27-21 with 50 seconds left in the game, meaning that DeSean Watson’s last-minute heroics to get Houston an improbable touchdown on only two plays covering 75 yards wouldn’t have helped the Texans much without a successful onside kick.
Brees overcame. Just like he overcame the other bit of adversity leading to his raw deal of a week, that being the Gay Mafia’s attacks on him over his participation in Focus on the Family’s Bring Your Bible To School Day event. Brees, a devout Christian, recorded a video encouraging kids to join in the festivities and proclaim their Christian faith, and because the event was sponsored by a Christian group whose work has included things the gay community doesn’t like Brees found himself attacked by the Hard Left as some kind of homophobe. Brees did a great job of defending himself, but rather than accept his explanation and go back under the miserable rock they crawled out from his critics, including something called Big Easy Magazine, which is a blog purportedly covering New Orleans but seems more like a leftist propaganda outlet reflecting virtually none of the values of the metro area, wouldn’t leave him alone.
Which is too bad, because the Saints’ quarterback, who we should all be able to agree is one of the finest citizens Louisiana has to offer, deserves better. Even if he does have the ability to overcome it.