The New Orleans Saints came into 2020 in a boom or bust situation. It felt like it was the last year of this championship window. After three years of heartbreak, the Saints are back for more playoff football. This time, the stakes are even higher, the NFC looks even more formidable than ever.
The Saints aren’t the one seed, that honor belongs to the Packers after Green Bay posted a 13-3 season. New Orleans is the second seed after a 12-4 season, don’t get fooled by the records, the New Orleans Saints are the best team in the NFC. They can still win the Super Bowl, do not be concerned Who Dat nation, New Orleans is still here. Here is how they can get back to Tampa Bay for the big one.
New Orleans Must Stay Healthy
New Orleans experienced a season full of injury frustration. It seems like all of the Saints’ big stars missed time at some point. Drew Brees broke eleven ribs. Michael Thomas endured a niggly ankle injury that wouldn’t go away. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson missed time, as did Trey Hendrickson and Andrus Peat.
Those are just some of the headline names; more players missed time throughout the season. The Saints spent the last offseason stacking its roster with elite talent. We’ve seldom seen them all on the field at the same time.
New Orleans went 12-4 with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas only on the same field for two complete games. Through all the injuries, New Orleans ended up one game back of the Packers. Don’t forget, New Orleans nearly beat Kansas City despite all the injuries.
Covid came into the mix as the Saints fielded no running backs last week at Carolina. Did it bother New Orleans? Nope, the Saints duly won at Carolina to sweep the NFC South. New Orleans is the only playoff team in the top five for both scoring offense and scoring defense.
The Packers didn’t see their starting quarterback break eleven ribs, did they? If Green Bay did, they wouldn’t be in the top five. The Packers also didn’t see their number one receiver miss the entirety of the season. New Orleans did, yet the Saints were able to be a top-five offense.
The Saints are finally healthy; the injury report is clearing up quickly, key players are coming back. At full strength, the New Orleans Saints are the best team in the NFC; it’s not even close.
New Orleans needs a little luck regarding injuries; also, they must keep Covid away from the practice facility. If that happens, the Saints will be the most formidable opponent for anyone in the NFC.
Sean Payton is the best play-caller left in the NFC playoffs. He is the best play designer in the NFC. He went 8-1 with backup quarterbacks, which is ridiculous. Teddy Bridgewater‘s play at Carolina fell off a cliff meanwhile Taysom Hill is a rookie. Somehow Coach Payton was able to win with both of those players.
Take it one step further, despite all the injuries; New Orleans took the second seed. The Saints saw off Russell Wilson cooking, Tom Brady’s Bucs, and Sean McVay’s Rams. None of those teams experienced Payton’s problems; he still coached his team to a better record than those teams above.
Payton knows there may not be many years left for him in New Orleans; it is undoubtedly the last year of this specific group of players. The two seed might take the pressure off New Orleans, and with a healthy team, Payton will use every call on his playsheet to full effect.
The New Orleans Saints have the best head coach, and that coach owns the best squad. It is a match made in heaven, Payton will risk it. No one will ever forget the onside kick in Super Bowl XLIV; it might be time for a few more courageous coaching calls from Coach Payton.
Drew Brees’ Last Dance
Drew Brees is the most outstanding athlete in New Orleans history. He is the greatest player in Saints history. 2020 looks like it will be Brees’ last year in the NFL. NBC signed him up before the season began.
The four-year run that New Orleans is on must culminate in a championship ring. Brees deserves it. He is the ultimate leader of a franchise, the ultimate pocket passer quarterback, yes his arm isn’t what it was, however, the supporting cast is the best since the Super Bowl win in 2009-2010.
Brees is the locker room leader; every player will go to war for their legendary leader. Sometimes in sport the intangibles matter, the Saints own the biggest intangible out of anyone in the NFC. New Orleans can give Brees the ultimate send-off, which is worth going through the pain barrier repeatedly.