New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees returned to the lineup on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs but he wasn't yet at 100 percent and the Saints ended up losing 32-29 on their home field. Brees, who missed four games with 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung, started the game against the Chiefs 0-for-6 and an interception.
"I'll be honest. I think there's some things that I'm still kind of working on. But it is what it is," Brees said, per ESPN. When asked if he was at 100 percent, Brees let out a big laugh. "No," Brees responded -- before adding, "but I'm on my way."
As the game progressed, Brees started to play better and he finished the game 15-of-34 for 234 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. "It wasn't real efficient, obviously, in the passing game," Brees said.
"I'd say that was a combination of forcing some things down the field instead of just taking a completion underneath, there were some miscues and they hit us with some looks defensively where you just have to throw the ball away."
Took time for Brees to shake off the rust
"I mean, listen, my first pass of the game, I should've thrown a checkdown, we get the first first down and we get a drive going. Instead, I tried to kind of fit one [deep into heavy coverage to fellow QB Taysom Hill]," Brees said.
"[But] every game, there's stuff like that. And we are a very efficient offense. We are a high-efficiency passing game. And so we're gonna get back to that." The Saints, who lost to the Philadelphia Eagles a week earlier, have now lost back-to-back games for the second time this season but still they own a positive 10-4 record.
"At this point, every game's so important. Down the stretch, everybody's battling something. And everybody's fighting to get on the field and put together our best effort in order to help our team win and advance our playoff status."
When asked about Brees' slow start, Saints head coach Sean Payton didn't want to put all the blame on his quarterback. "I felt like our third-down numbers weren't good enough today. I didn't feel like we ran the ball efficiently when we tried," Payton said.
"Everyone will scream, 'You gotta run the ball 30 times.' It's impossible if you're not converting on third down. "So, overall offensively, we weren't very sharp."