2. New Orleans Saints
Time seems to be winding down for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. It seems like after every season there are questions regarding whether Brees will be back for another season or whether Sean Payton will return as head coach or listen to offers from other teams.
Is this the end? Is 2020 Brees’ last hurrah in the NFL?
While the Saints lost their back-up, Teddy Bridgewater, in free agency to the Panthers, for whom he will start, New Orleans made a curious move in bringing in Jameis Winston to sit behind Brees. Winston is a former No. 1 pick who started the past five seasons for the Buccaneers. While the Bucs under-performed with him as the starter, he is clearly a starting quarterback. Did New Orleans sign him in hopes to transition to him when Brees retires?
Well, let’s forget those questions for now. After all, I don’t have any of the answers. What I do know is that the Saints have won the NFC South the last four straight seasons, and looked poised to do so again thanks to Brees’ arm and a rather stellar defense.
First, Brees is one of the top quarterbacks in the game today, even at his age. Heck, Brees is one of the best quarterbacks ever, full stop. He’s been dynamite with wide receiver Michael Thomas, a former first-rounder out of Ohio State who’s started his career with four straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons, including leading the league in receptions in each of the last two years. This offseason, the Saints added Emmanuel Sanders, a 33-year-old wide receiver who most recently played with the 49ers.
In the backfield, the Saints have Alvin Kamara, one of the top all-around backs in the league. Kamara has collected over 1,300 yards all-purpose in each of his three seasons while scoring a combined 37 touchdowns. Incredibly, he’s collected exactly 81 receptions in each of his first three professional seasons.
Defensively, linebacker Demario Davis leads the way, as he led the team with 111 combined tackles in 2019. On the EDGE, Cameron Jordan led all Saints with 15.5 sacks while Marcus Davenport, who came in second with six, also returns.
In the end, this is one of the toughest opponents in 2020 for the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Chiefs defeat the Saints in Week 15, I wouldn’t be surprised. But the same goes for the opposite result: with time running out, the Saints may be looking at 2020 as a last hurrah. And defeating the defending Super Bowl champions would be a great confidence-booster heading into the final weeks of the season.