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Drew Brees: Completing 80 percent of passes is doable

Drew Brees set the NFL record for completion percentage in 2017 with a 72.0 connection rate for the season.

Through three games in 2018, the future Hall of Fame quarterback is on pace to make that mark seem inaccurate. Brees is currently connecting on a mind-boggling 80.6 percent of his passes.

The ridiculous percentage seems unsustainable, but not to the quarterback. Brees was asked Wednesday if he thinks completing 80 percent of his passes for the entire season is maintainable.

"I don't see why not," Brees said, via Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune. "Listen, it's not easy. ... It's identifying matchups, it's making sure you get positive plays and in just about every case, a completion is a positive play, right?"

Brees has historically been one of the most accurate quarterbacks in NFL history, owning three of the top four single-season completion percentage marks. What he's doing this year, however, blows all others out of the water.

While the sample size is just three games, it's not as if Brees has been leaning on the ground attack. In fact, it's been just the opposite. With Mark Ingram's continued absence due to suspension, the Saints rushing attack has been stymied -- ranking 28th in the NFL in yards per game.

Brees' 129 attempts are fourth-most through three games, the 43 attempts per game put him on a pace to throw 688 times this season, which would be third-most all-time, and tops for the Saints QB in his career.

With the run-game going nowhere until Ingram returns, Sean Payton has smartly utilized the short passing game as an extension of the rushing offense to gain yards. While Brees owns an 8.4 yards per pass average this season, his air-yards per attempt sit at just 6.8, per Next Gen Stats, which is good for 27th among qualifying quarterbacks -- surrounded by names such as Dak Prescott and Alex Smith. Clearly what sets Brees apart from other quarterbacks with a low air-yard average is his otherworldly accuracy, which helps lead to yards after catch because he's hitting targets in stride.

One key to Brees' success this season has been No. 1 target Michael Thomas, who is somehow still not discussed among top receivers in the NFL. Brees has connected with Thomas on 38 of 40 passes, a mind-exploding 95 percent rate.

"That's huge," Brees said of Thomas' role in his completion percentage. "He's a great target, he's a great matchup. When he's covered, then that usually means that somebody else is going to come open."

While Brees thinks he can set the season-long completion rate mark again, he's also barreling toward owning another passing record.

The quarterback needs 418 passing yards to break Peyton Manning's NFL-record for career passing yards. With 16 career 400-yard passing games, most of any QB in the Super Bowl era, Brees could set the mark this week against Peyton's brother Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

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