Drew Brees said Wednesday he doesn't throw a lot of 50-50 balls, dangerous passes that both the defense and intended receiver theoretically have a 50 percent chance of catching. In the New Orleans Saints offense, Brees has thrived while spreading the ball around. Finding the open man as opposed to forcing passes is a key reason he's the most accurate quarterback in NFL history. With wide receiver Michael Thomas, though, Brees doesn't consider tough passes to be 50-50 balls. Even when Thomas is covered, Brees said those passes are closer to 70-30 in favor of Thomas because of his physicality. And that trust between Brees and Thomas is a key reason the second-year receiver has already made history and is on the verge of making more. Thomas has 94 catches for 1,085 yards through 14 games this season, and those numbers helped him earn an invitation to the Pro Bowl. His 94 receptions are already third all-time in Saints history, and with two games remaining, it's a safe bet he'll break Jimmy Graham's record of 99 from 2011. Thomas' volume is impressive on its own, but its spectacular considering how the Saints offense has changed this year. In addition to ranking fourth in passing offense, New Orleans has the fifth-ranked rushing attack, and because the Saints are running more, Brees has been throwing less. With 478 passes thus far, Brees is on pace for 546 attempts this year, which would be his second fewest in 12 seasons with the Saints behind only his 514 attempts in 2009.
Statistically, Michael Thomas in 2017 has been Drew Brees' favorite target ever
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Dec 22