This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
The New Orleans Saints missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016. A new-look receiving corps could be the key to a return to the off-season.
Winners of four consecutive NFC South titles, starting in 2017, got the New Orleans Saints off to a great start in 2021 and were just in the mix for a fifth division crown in a row.
A 5-2 record included a 38-3 round by the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville in Week 1. There was also a resounding 36-27 home triumph over then-defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. But in that match, seven-year-old quarterback Jameis Winston went down with a knee injury that ended the season.
What followed was a losing streak of five games. And even though the club came back to win four of its last five outings, their 9-8 record was not enough to get them back to the playoffs.
In what turned out to be Sean Payton’s final season as the franchise’s head coach, the Saints finished in 28th place in the league in total yards per game. And somewhat shockingly, no team in the NFL got fewer yards through the air. Of course, it’s worth noting that Winston (14), Trevor Siemian (11) and Taysom Hill (4) came together for 29 touchdown passes.
In 2021, running back Alvin Kamara led the team with 47 catches. Wideout Marquez Callaway started with the Saints in receiving yards (698) and touchdown grips (6). But now comes a whole new look with regard to the upcoming season.
Back in March, general manager Mickey Loomis stated that three-time Pro Bowler and twice All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas would return this year. He played only seven games in 2020 and missed the entire final season.
Speaking of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Saints used the 11th overall pick in the April draft on wideout Chris Olave. And earlier this month, five-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry joined the organization.
The latter missed five games last season with the Browns, but still collected 52 catches for 570 yards and two goals. He was released by Cleveland earlier this year, but the former LSU standout and Louisiana native returns home. Will his words prove to be prophetic when it comes to Dennis Allen’s team and Pete Carmichael Jr.’s attacks?