NFL Forward of Wild Card Spherical, Brees says he performs each season like it’s his final
By Amy Tennery
(Reuters) – After two decades in the NFL, quarterback Drew Brees has gotten good at deflecting unwanted questions.
This is a valuable skill as one particularly persistent question whirls around the 13-time pro bowler before his New Orleans Saints wild card takes on the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Did he decide if this season will be his last?
“I’ve chosen to be the best I can be this week so we can win this game and keep playing,” Brees told reporters this week when asked.
And yet, the 41-year-old is well aware that time is not on his side, perhaps not after a four-week injury break after a brutal sack in the second quarter of the Week 10 win against the San Francisco 49ers Ribs.
In Week 15, he returned for a 32-29 loss to reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs before ending the 4-12 season with two wins against the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers.
“I’ve played the last four seasons in a row like it was my last. Sitting here now my approach is very similar,” said Brees, who holds the record for most career-passing yards, completes, numbers that himself have remained elusive for the seemingly untouchable Tom Brady (NYSE :).
Eleven years after winning the Super Bowl MVP, his final postseason offering begins at home against the Bears, against whom the Saints are hugely popular.
“They’re tough against the run. It’s a tough front. They rush passers-by exceptionally well,” the Saints’ head coach Sean Payton praised reporters on Thursday for the Chicago defense, which is 344.9 yards per game in the regular season allowed.
The 8-8 Bears, who had recovered from a mid-season loss in six games and made the playoffs for the second time in three years, boast the talents of six-time Pro Bowl linebacker Khalil Mack, who played the regular season with nine finished sacks and one interception.
“Your red zone numbers are good,” said Payton. “And they create some really tough matchup problems.”
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