Will Panthers stand in way of Brees’ quest?

Remember when Saints QB Drew Brees looked like the hands-down choice to win NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors, if not the MVP award?

Seems like a long time ago.

Since then, others have emerged as stronger candidates, including Colts QB Peyton Manning.

But Brees continues to be prolific, even with the Saints out of playoff contention. He finds himself 402 yards short of breaking Dan Marino‘s record for most passing yards in a season.

Given that the final game on the Saints’ schedule is against the Panthers — who already have a playoff spot and could secure home-field advantage in the NFC by beating the Giants tonight — that’s a reachable number. I don’t know how likely it is, especially when you consider that Brees threw for 352 yards today against the winless Lions, who have the NFL’s 31st-ranked defense and 21st-ranked pass defense entering Week 16. The Panthers entered Week 16 with the 10th-ranked defense and 12th-ranked pass defense.

I suppose the question to ponder is whether a Panthers team resting its starters is as strong as a Lions team “trying” to win a game. Something tells me there isn’t that much difference.

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