The New Orleans Saints missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016. A new-look receiving corps could be key to a return to the postseason.
Winners of four consecutive NFC South titles starting in 2017, the New Orleans Saints got off to a tremendous start in 2021 and were right in the mix for a fifth straight division crown.
A 5-2 record included a 38-3 rout of the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville in Week 1. There was also a resounding 36-27 home triumph over the then-defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. But in that game, seven-year quarterback Jameis Winston went down with a season-ending knee injury.
What ensued was a five-game losing streak. And even though the club rebounded to win four of its final five outings, their 9-8 record wasn’t enough to get them back to the playoffs.
In what proved to be Sean Payton’s final season as the franchise’s head coach, the Saints finished 28th in the league in total yards per game. And somewhat shockingly, no team in the NFL gained fewer yards through the air. Of course, it’s worth noting that Winston (14), Trevor Siemian (11) and Taysom Hill (4) did combine for 29 touchdown passes.
In 2021, running back Alvin Kamara led the team with 47 catches. Wideout Marquez Callaway paced the Saints in receiving yards (698) and touchdown grabs (6). But now comes a whole new look in regards to the upcoming season.
Back in March, general manager Mickey Loomis stated that three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas would return this year. He played in only seven games in 2020 and miss all of this past season.
Speaking of Ohio State Buckeyes, the Saints used the 11th overall selection in April’s draft on wideout Chris Olave. And earlier this month, five-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry joined the organization.
The latter missed five games this past season with the Browns but still totaled 52 catches for 570 yards and two scores. He was released by Cleveland earlier this year but the former LSU standout and Louisiana native is returning home. Will his words prove to be prophetic when it comes to Dennis Allen’s team and Pete Carmichael Jr.’s offense?