NEW ORLANS – Drew Brees was still in the Superdome field for nearly two hours, probably after his last game at the historic home of the New Orleans Saints.
Brees, who are expected to retire after 20 seasons, have not officially announced their intentions after suffering a disappointing 30-20 defeat in the Sunday playoff division against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But he made sure to soak it all up.
Brees and his wife, Brittany, played with their four children – they played football, they played gymnastics. He also spent time talking to his old friend and rival, Tom Brady. After the two heirs defenders hugged each other, Brady even threw a pass to one of Brees ’kids before advancing to the NFC tournament.
On Friday, 42-year-old Brees was hoping to reach his fourth NFC tournament and this year’s second Super Bowl. Instead, he threw three interceptions for the first time in his career in a playoff game, while Tampa Bay rebounded from a 20-13 disadvantage in the third quarter.
“I’m going to give myself a chance to think about the season, think about a lot of things, just like last year, and make a decision,” Brees said when asked if he had only played his last match.
He says Sunday’s performance or the end of the season won’t affect his decision. But when asked what we were considering, Brees said, “I’ll keep that to myself now.”
However, Brees added that he didn’t mind coming back this year after he had almost retired after last season.
“I would never regret it. Never,” said Brees, who missed four games in November and December due to a punctured lung and 11 rib fractures, but still helped the Saints take 2nd place in the NFC with a 12-4 record. disappointingly before they end.
“No complaints. I’m not sorry. Man, I’ve always tried to play this game with great respect and great respect. And I appreciate all that this game has given me,” said Brees, who is the only Super Bowl win for the Saints in 2009. throughout franchise history, and the NFL record is the passing yard of a career. “Obviously there are so many incredible memories, so many incredible connections that have come about as a result of this game. And man, you know so much about yourself and you have to fight so much when you play this game.
“And I could say that this season I probably had to fight more than ever in any other season of my career – from injury to COVID things to crazy conditions. And it was worth every moment absolutely.”
Saints coach Sean Payton also said he can’t talk to Brees and doesn’t want to spend time meditating on Brees ’future Hall of Fame career yet.
“Oh listen, I think it’s probably for another press conference,” Payton said. “It would take up all my time on your question tonight. It was obviously huge for this team, this city, I could go on. But let’s wait and answer it at the right time.”
Other teammates, from veteran linebacker Demario Davis to young innkeeper Tre’Quan Smith, used exactly the same word when asked what Brees meant to them – “everything”.
If this was Brees ’last match, he wasn’t given a career post by big men of all time like John Elway or Peyton Manning. In fact, it was just the opposite.
Brees completed 19 of 34 passes in just 134 yards with a single touch on a night when he struggled better than usual to get the ball to the ground. The Saints ’biggest pass came when reserve Jameis Winston threw a 56-yard TD pass for a tricky flea look the Saints stole from the Chicago Bears, who had tried it against the Saints a week earlier.
And Brees has never even been able to connect with top receiver Michael Thomas on four targets. Brees ’first capture took place in the second quarter when the Saints led to 6-3 and toppled Thomas. Sean Murphy-Bunting bounced in front of the corner defender and almost gave it back.
Brees then threw another throw in the fourth quarter when the Saints were 23-20 behind and linebacker Devin White knocked down Alvin Kamara in the middle of the field. The third interception occurred when the Saints retreated from 30 to 20 and had less than five minutes left.
At the close end, Jared Cook also lost a critical fumble in the third quarter as the Saints led 20-13 and just crossed the midfield.
“I’d say it’s pretty typical because we’re advertising ‘winning football.’ And turning the ball four times, it’s not ‘winning football’ – especially in the playoffs, especially against a team like that,” said Brees, who blamed himself for the arrests.
“Well, I probably shouldn’t have folded a couple of them, and maybe I should have been forced there. And we were probably just a little away from full execution,” Brees said. “But at the end of the day, this game came down to those traffic.”