Drew Brees announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, and will be a shoo-in to be a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee in 2026.
In 20 NFL seasons — five with the San Diego Chargers and 15 with the New Orleans Saints — Brees posted eye-popping passing numbers that previously were thought to be unattainable.
Here's a breakdown of some of the most impressive feats and statistics from Brees' illustrious NFL career:
5,000 — For nearly three decades, Dan Marino's 5,084 yards from the 1984 season was the single-season passing yardage benchmark. It was a record that stood for 27 years until Brees broke it in 2011 with 5,476 yards (two years later, Peyton Manning set the record with 5,477 yards). In total, Brees has five 5,000-yard passing efforts, accounting for five of the 11 top passing yardage seasons in NFL history. No other quarterback has more than one 5,000-yard passing season. Brees led the NFL in passing yards seven times in his career, the most of any quarterback in league history.
67.7% — Brees' career completion percentage is the highest among quarterbacks who have played more than four seasons (Deshaun Watson has a career completion percentage of 67.8, but just finished his fourth season). The next-highest total for a quarterback who played for at least 10 seasons is Chad Pennington's 66.0%. Brees owns six of the top nine single-season completion percentage totals in NFL history. His 74.4% from 2018 is the NFL record; he followed that up with the second-best (74.3%) in 2019.
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