Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Drew Brees had the most passing yards in the NFL last year. At age 37, Brees put together one of his greatest seasons for the New Orleans Saints, connecting on 70% of his passes and racking up 5,208 yards. It was the third straight passing title for Brees, and his fifth in the past six years – on top of his league-best 2006 and 2008 campaigns.

Naturally, Brees is the favorite to do it again. He’s available at +300 on the NFL props market at press time, ahead of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady at +600. Then it’s Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders at +800. Do any of these players have a realistic shot at catching Brees this year?


Throw the Dang Ball

As long as Sean Payton is calling the shots in New Orleans, maybe not. Payton, a former quarterback himself, has put Brees in a position to succeed with a high-octane offensive playbook. The Saints rarely manage to match that level of play on defense, but that only encourages Brees to throw the ball more as New Orleans often has to play catch-up. Improvements on the offensive line should keep this veteran gunslinger on top for another season.

Brady will draw plenty of action this year, especially after missing the first four games of the 2016 regular season to that Deflategate suspension. However, Brady hasn’t led the NFL in passing yardage since 2007, and at age 39, there’s no reason for head coach Bill Belichick to test Brady’s arm in that fashion. Note that Brees also had more pass attempts and completions than anyone else last year. Brady made 36 attempts per game in 2016; Brees went to the air 42.1 times.

As for Rodgers, he has never led the league in any of those categories, and asking him to do so while playing home games at Lambeau Field might be a bit much. And Carr is coming off a truncated 2016 campaign that saw him break his leg in Week 16. If you’re looking for a non-Brees betting option, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons is next on the list at +1000, despite finishing second to Brees last year with 4,944 passing yards. No doubt Ryan will be motivated to do even better after what happened at Super Bowl LI.


*Odds as of July 19, 2017