Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is poised to become the NFL’s all-time attempts leader in completion percentage, as long as he makes at least 12 passes on Monday against the Buffalo Bills.
With those 12 pass attempts, complete or not, Burrow will pass his childhood idol Drew Brees for the record and secure his own place in the “NFL Record & Fact Book.”
Only three years into his career, Burrow is stacking up the accolades. He’s completed 69% of his passes going into Monday, and already has the highest completion percentage in NFL history for any player after his first two seasons.
While he threw enough passes to win the AFC Championship last year, he needed at least 1,500 attempts to officially qualify for the NFL’s all-time completion percentage list.
Brees’ career mark of 67.7% was briefly dethroned by Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. After returning from a league-mandated suspension for alleged sexual misconduct, Watson completed 57.7% of his passes over four games. Those showing Watson’s career number dropped from 67.8% down to 67.2%.
Now, Jimmy Garrapolo holds the second spot behind Brees with 67.6%. The other completion percentage leaders are also active quarterbacks – Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater and Patrick Mahomes, respectively.
On Monday night, 12 incomplete passes from Burrow would bring him down to 67.9%, still enough to surpass Brees.
Brees and Burrow’s common ground
Brees and Burrow have connected over more than exceptional completion percentages over the years.
Their commonalities took center stage in the days leading up to Burrow’s Heisman win in December 2019, when he told the media that he had grown up idolizing Brees and supporting the Saints despite growing up in Ohio.
“You want to root for guys like that, that have to travel that tough road, face some adversity and overcome it, and come out better on the other side. He’s been fun to watch,” Brees said from the Saints locker room.
The two met a month later and posed for a picture as they exchanged No. 9s. Burrow went on and lead LSU to the national title.
After retiring, Brees joined NBC Sports as a football analyst and the pair found themselves together again ahead of Super Bowl LVI.
This time, for an interview about how Burrow lead the Bengals there in just his second year in the NFL.
“Have you always had this confidence about you?” Brees asked.
“Yeah, I would say so,” Burrow said.