Peyton Manning is a future Hall of Fame quarterback and deservedly so. Nothing that happened last night will change that. He played a nearly flawless game with most of the mistakes, particularly dropped passes, being made by the supporting cast around him. It just so happens that Manning, a quarterback known for his judgment and poise, committed the single most costly error with an interception that was the dagger for the Indianapolis Colts. The only bearing this will have is on his competition with Tom Brady — in reality, it is premature to crown either of them while they are both still playing at a high level.
But Drew Brees isn’t mentioned in the company of Brady and Manning often enough, probably less frequently than his successor in San Diego, Philip Rivers. Instead Brees has quietly racked up an impressive set of stats, including four consecutive seasons of passing for well over 4,000 yards. In 2008, he passed for 5,069 (!) yards. This past season, Brees completed 70.6 percent of his passes and threw 34 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
Last night, Drew Brees reminded everyone that he deserves to be included in the list of elite quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL — and somewhere closer to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning than Tony Romo or Donovan McNabb. Brees may have even made the case for being the subject of some Hall of Fame talk in his own right.