This hasn’t been a typical season for Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He hasn’t reached 30 standard-scoring points in a game yet. He had done that three times by now last season. He still has been solid, ranking eighth in points among quarterbacks.
But the old Brees is coming, and he might return to his peak at the most important time.
He has been trending upward since scoring only 15 points in each of the first two games. He fell three passing yards shy of his fifth consecutive 300-yard game last Thursday. Now he has three games in a row at home — where he has been significantly better over the years — before three favorable matchups in Weeks 14-16, which is playoff time in most leagues.
The Saints will face the Panthers, Bears and Falcons, three teams with pass defenses ranked in the bottom half of the league. Only the game against the Bears is on the road, and we all know how the Bears have played at home.
The Panthers (No. 17 in passing yards allowed per game) and Bears (No. 23) have allowed 17 touchdown passes, tied for the third-most in the league. The Falcons rank 30th in pass defense and have a league-low seven sacks.
The Bears have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, according to an ESPN standard-scoring system, and the Panthers the eighth-most. The Falcons rank 14th because they’ve given up only 10 touchdown passes.
Other players with favorable playoff matchups:
QB Tony Romo, Cowboys: If his back holds up, Romo will have the chance to exploit the Bears and Eagles (No. 22 pass defense) before facing a Colts defense that has plunged to 26th.
RB Le’Veon Bell, Steelers: Though both games are on the road, Bell could thrive against the Bengals (tied for 30th in run defense) and Falcons (25). A tougher matchup follows against the Chiefs, the only team that hasn’t allowed a touchdown run.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers: Cam Newton’s top target will face three teams in the top 10 in most points allowed to wide receivers: the Saints (No. 6), Buccaneers (1) and Browns (10).