On Tuesday, the New York Giants will host the Indianapolis Colts in the first preseason game in the new stadium, and it will be the first time in franchise history that the NFL will have a quarterback in the preseason game.
This is a huge shift from what has been a trend in recent years, which have seen preseason games mostly be a prelude to regular season games.
Tom Brady, for instance, was the first NFL quarterback to play in the regular season opener, but it was in the middle of the regular schedule, not the middle weeks of the preseason.
Tom Petty was the only NFL quarterback with an official preseason game, but that was when the Colts were a wild card team.
Drew Brees was also the only player to play preseason games in his first two seasons with the New Orleans Saints, and he also played in a preseason game that was only in the league schedule.
Brees also has been playing in a full preseason game every year since he left the Giants in 2015, which is the longest such streak by any NFL quarterback.
Brees will have the opportunity to make history by becoming the first quarterback to make the game in his third year with the Saints, a streak that started in 1999.
Brees is also the first rookie to start preseason games, joining Drew Brees and Peyton Manning in that category.
Brees’ last two starts were in Week 6 and Week 11, and the Giants had to deal with a series of injuries that kept Brees off the field.
Brees has a great relationship with his quarterback coach, Scott Wells, who was the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2016, and Brees was able to work with him during the preseason and have him back for a second season.
It’s not as if Wells was expecting to have a QB like Brees, but Wells had to make do with an inconsistent rookie who struggled to establish a consistent passing game and struggled to get the ball to receivers.
Brees threw for 7,892 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions during his two seasons in New England.
The Giants will have to replace the quarterback position with one that isn’t as consistent, so that should give Brees the opportunity for a big season.
If the Giants can get Brees on the field, they have a shot at a surprise playoff berth, but the rest of the NFL is going to have to figure out how to make this work, too.