Agree in part. But Sean's offense is such that when you remove one of the roles in the passing game, the others suffer unless they are talented enough to get open on their own accord, no matter scheme.Not having Michael Thomas would change the offense, but if we are going to play the "what if?" game, everyone would agree that in the event of an injury to Thomas in week 1, the Saints would have aggressively traded for a top flight WR, whatever the cost.
As for Brees' numbers, they wouldn't take as sharp of a dip as you think . Brees is averaging 39 attempts per game, but only 11 of those passes go towards Michael Thomas. That is 28% of his attempts. Even if Brees had a 100% completion percentage throwing to Thomas (he doesn't, it is 83%), there are still 72% of his passes that are having to be caught by someone else. Brees has never won because of his arm strength, he's won because he puts the ball in places where the defender can do nothing about it. If you remove Michael Thomas and his ridiculous catch rate from the Saints totals this season, Brees is still completing 70% of his passes.
I do think everyone is making a faulty comparison by using Manning. Manning had nerve damage and could not feel the ball nor his fingers. I think a better comparison of a player hitting a wall would be Brett Favre who went from MVP season to just looking terrible and ineffective - that is what "hitting the wall" looks like IMHO, and neither Brady nor Brees has had that happen; their issues are more to do with lack of personnel - I'd say 75% personnel, 25% age.Compare this year to his 2003 season whenever he was in his mid 20ś... It´s pretty comparable and oh he won the super bowl that year, was people saying he was washed up? No people need to get over his age. Brady is still more than capable and is no where near the decline Manning showed his last season.