Saints roster is still very talented
By: Reese Nasser
The New Orleans Saints could be one of the most intriguing teams heading into this upcoming season. The team returning will be very similar to the team that won the NFC South for the past four seasons and finished 2020 with a 12-4 record.
There is just one glaring difference for this team heading into 2021; longtime quarterback Drew Brees is now retired. After leading the Saints since 2006, the QB1 decided to call it a career. The 13-time pro bowl quarterback had a career that will cement him among some of the greatest ever. But the Saints may be ready for life post-Brees.
In the past two seasons, Brees missed nine games. In those nine games, New Orleans had a record of 8-1. They have proved that they are capable of still winning games without Brees and this upcoming season will be where they fully get to showcase that.
The Saints will be a competitive team in 2021. The culture that they have created within the team will allow for nothing less. New Orleans could be a super bowl contender this season. Here’s why.
The Saints have a defense with veterans at every level. With Cameron Jordan leading the defensive line, Demario Davis leading the linebackers, and Malcolm Jenkins leading the secondary, this defense has capable playmakers at every point.
The group that they have assembled is proven and will be nearly identical in 2021. They finished last season allowing 310 yards per game and 21.06 points per game, ranking fourth and fifth in both categories. They held opponents to less than 20 points on six occasions last season.
If the defense is able to play at the same level as they did last season, this team will have a fighting chance in any game that they play in. An above average defense can also be enough to get a team to a SuperBowl appearance. That has been seen throughout NFL history.
The New Orleans offensive line is one of the best in the NFL. Led by Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramcyzk, the Saints have put out a group that has been consistent for years.
When running on all gears, this is arguably the NFL’s best group in the trenches. An elite offensive line can take a team far. And it can help diminish the other problems that the offense may have.
Star wide receiver Michael Thomas may miss significant time due to off-season surgery. If Thomas is out for sometime, this offense could struggle in the beginning. Losing a player of Thomas’s caliber and having younger wideouts in a position where they have to make a play could be an issue for this offense. The o-line being able to hold blocks and let plays develop could keep this offensive unit alive at points.
Running back Alvin Kamara could be the x-factor for this team. His offensive presence alongside the elite offensive line could take this team far.
Kamara has proven to be one of the most versatile players in the NFL. He reached the end zone 16 times on the ground and another five times through the air. His 21 touchdowns led the NFL.
It would come at no shock if Kamara has a similar workload in 2021. This Saints team could go as far as their veteran running back takes them. If he is able to play at a high level, as he has for most of his career, he could be the leagues best running back this season.
While a Super Bowl appearance could be slim to none, this team could still be competitive and at least have a fighting chance. Having a reliable defense, a top offensive line, and a star running back, paired with a veteran quarterback in Jameis Winston, this team will always have a fighting chance. Don’t count the Saints out in 2021.