METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees has been under the microscope this week after looking mortal in his first two starts of the season.

But the New Orleans Saints quarterback insisted Wednesday, “I feel good, I feel good. Borderline great.”

Brees, 41, has become a popular talking point because of his age and the fact that he and the Saints’ offense have looked out of sync early in the year — especially in the prime-time spotlight during Monday night’s 34-24 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Brees’ passing yards (472) and completion percentage (64.7) are both below his usual standard. But Brees was especially dismissive of the statistic he saw mentioned quite a bit after Monday’s game — that his average of 4.82 air yards is the lowest of any quarterback through two games since Brett Favre in 2009, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“You know one of the statistics that was thrown out after the game was the yards per attempt or something like that. There are many statistics I do not pay one bit of attention to — and that would be one of them,” Brees said. “At the end of the day, I am focused on putting us in position to succeed, making great decisions, both in the run game or pass game, whatever is predicated on my ability to get us in the best play. And our ability to take care of the football and go and score points, put us in the best position to win. Those are the things I’m focused on, and I don’t care how we do it. I honestly don’t. I just want to win football games.”

The Saints (1-1) were obviously missing All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas on Monday night — Brees’ go-to target who just set an NFL record with 149 catches last season. Thomas’ status remains uncertain for this week’s Sunday night showdown against the 2-0 Green Bay Packers in the Superdome.

Brees acknowledged that the Saints have some new players in key roles as a result — including newly signed receiver Emmanuel Sanders. But Brees mostly dismissed the idea that the Saints’ struggles can be attributed to the abbreviated offseason.

“I’m confident with the guys we have and the system we have that we’re gonna get back on track,” Brees said. “I think we have always been one of the best teams in the league, probably in history, at the precision of the passing game. And I think we are on our way to being back there very soon.”

Packers coach Matt LaFleur, for one, said he won’t be taking Brees lightly.

“Well, I still see a guy who is a Hall of Famer,” LaFleur said. “I’ve had the opportunity or misfortune, however you look at it, of going against him many times. There’s a reason he’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

“Usually [the slow start] is an anomaly that doesn’t happen very often and it’s just a matter of time before he gets it rolling like we’re all accustomed to. … So you can never take that for granted or let your guard down, because as soon as you do, he’s going to go out there and dice you and hang 45 on you.”



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