The Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints are at a point in their franchise history where they know what they have at the quarterback position. In fact, they’ve been that way for years now.
The two teams have worked tirelessly to grow an identity beyond their signal-caller. The Saints are finally building a young, talented defense for once, while the Lions are doing their best to build an adequate offensive line and hopefully develop a running game with it.
But try as they might to fight it, it all comes back to the quarterbacks. Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford will carry these teams as far as they can, and they will have to outduel the other to come out on top Sunday. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Who wins the quarterback duel: Matthew Stafford or Drew Brees?
My answer: It’s an interesting question because, independent of their own talent, there are several factors that could decide the outcome. Stafford is dealing with an ankle injury that didn’t limit him in practice, but landed him with a “questionable” designation this week, and will almost assuredly affect his mobility in some way. But he’ll also will be facing an easier defense than Brees this week.
Brees, on the other hand, has a more reliable offensive line and could be getting his starting left tackle back this week. He also has something resembling a running game and a talented set of receivers. But he’ll have to try and dissect a ball-hawking set of Lions defensive backs.
All that being said, it’s hard to ignore the stats through five weeks. Brees has been absolutely dominant, completing 69.1 percent of his passes (third), earning a passer rating of 108.3 (third) and averaging 7.5 yards per attempt (11th).
Stafford only ranks in the top 10 in one of those stats: passer rating (97.4, ninth).
I think Brees finishes with the better statline, but still may give up one or two interceptions that may change the tide in the entire game.