The New Orleans Saints will start an NFL season for the first time since 2006 without Drew Brees under center. Brees retired following the 2020 NFL season. The Saints will start either Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston at quarterback. A decision has not yet been made whether Hill or Winston will start. Alvin Kamara returns in the backfield for New Orleans and is as much a threat catching the ball as the running back is rushing it. Last season Kamara lead New Orleans in both rushing and receiving with 932 yards on the ground with 16 touchdowns and 756 yards receiving and five touchdowns
Michael Thomas is also back after missing much of last season with injuries. The wide receiver caught only 40 passes for 438 yards without a touchdown after 149 receptions, 1725 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019. Tight end Nick Vannett was signed during the offseason to give the Saints much needed blocking as well as receiving. The Saints also have Tre'Quan Smith and Deonte Harris as threats downfied and over the middle.
New Orleans lost defensive end Trey Hendrickson, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The Saints defense lost three former first round picks, the sacks leader in the NFC, and a former Pro-Bowler, making it difficult to believe New Orleans will be as strong as it was last season on defense. New Orleans drafted heavily on the defensive side of the ball this season acquiring edge rusher Peyton Turner, cornerback Polson Adebo and linebacker Pete Werner.
There is some positive news for New Orleans on the defensive side of the ball with linebacker Demario Davis, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and edge defender Cameron Jordan all returning. Also returning for New Orleans are safety Marcus Williams, who is strong against the run and defensive lineman David Onyemata, who will become one of the keys on the interior line related to stopping the run.
Free NFL Pick:
New Orleans has been tagged with a win total for this season of 9.0 and will be hard pressed to achieve that number. New Orleans should not miss Drew Brees enough to have it affect their offense with such outstanding skills players as Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas, but the defense is another story. The Saints lost three key starters on defense and although talent remains, the Saints will be young after drafting heavily on the defensive side of the ball. Final Win Total Prediction, under 9.0.