Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) celebrates a sack of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) during the second half of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Most Memorable Saints Game of 2013: Week 10 – Saints 49, Cowboys 17 (39%)
There’s little to say about how much Who Dat Nation enjoyed a beat down of Dallas, yet again. The fact that the Saints keep getting to do it in front of a Prime Time audience. The Saints set an NFL record for most first downs by any club with 40 total. The Saints also rushed for a franchise record 242 rushing yards, including Mark Ingram’s career performance. 14 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown. It was a night the Cowboys would have loved to forget, as they allowed 625 yards, which is the most allowed by the Cowboys in their history.
Runner Up: Week 11 – Saints 23, 49ers 20 (21%)
Most Forgettable Saints Game of 2013: Week 13 – Seahawks 34, Saints 7 (54%)
No brainer here. It was the worst loss in the Sean Payton Era (8 years now), since the 2007 season opener against the Colts (41-10). The Saints would get a chance for some redemption in the Divisional Round, but would falter once again 23-15.
Runner Up: Week 9 – Jets 26, Saints 20 (15%)
Most Heartbreaking Saints Game of 2013: Divisional Round – Seahawks 23, Saints 15 (45%)
The potential Super Bowl run was ended by the Seahawks, after the Saints broke their woes on the road, earning their first road playoff win in history. The Saints would trail 16-0 going into the fourth quarter, and after a Marshawn Lynch ‘2010-esque’ run to put the Seahawks up 23-7, it looked dismal for the Saints. However, a classic Brees drive would cut the Seahawks lead to 23-15 very late in the game, and after an onside kick recovery by the Saints, it looked as though the impossible could be done. The Saints would be done in by an illegal forward pass by Marques Colston, which resulted in the end of the game.
Runner Up: Week 16 – Panthers 16, Saints 13 (29%)
Saints ‘Comeback Player’ of the Year: Mark Ingram (56%)
As much flack as Mark Ingram has received from the media, fans, and anyone that was anti-Alabama, it is encouraging to see the fans vote for Ingram in this category. Ingram had a solid season for the Black & Gold, and displayed tremendous intensity after each play. The Saints could not have had Ingram get hot at a better time. Ingram finished with 4.9 yards per carry in 2013.
Runner Up: Jimmy Graham & David Hawthorne (13%)
Saints ‘Most Improved’ Player of the Year: Junior Galette (57%)
Galette put together a superb year, amassing 12 sacks in 2013, which was more than his previous three seasons combined. Galette also finished with career highs in tackles (40) and fumble recoveries (2). He played in all 16 regular season games this year for the Saints. Galette also entertains Who Dat Nation with his impressive beard abilities, and has his own Facebook fan page. #FearDaBeard
Runner Up: Mark Ingram (32%)
Saints Rookie of the Year: Kenny Vaccaro (74%)
The Saints first round selection of Kenny Vaccaro was originally met with a lot of head scratching from the media. I mean, a safety? Really? Why? Boy, was everyone wrong. I publicly thought the pick was amazing in one of my last days on my personal blog, Vaccaro made an impact from day one, and in his first game against those Dirty Birds, Vaccaro would tip the go-ahead touchdown intended for Tony Gonzalez, that would land in the lands of Roman Harper. Though his season would meet an end due to injury, Vaccaro will be back in full stride for 2014.
Runner Up: Kenny Stills (13%)
Saints Offensive MVP: Drew Brees (59%)
When you put together your third straight 5,000-yard passing season, do it for the fourth time in your career, which no one has ever done, you’ll land here. When Brees is on fire, he’s untouchable, and he played exceptional for the Saints, again. Brees finished 2013 with almost identical 2012 numbers.
- 2012: 422/670 (63.0%) – 5,177 yards – 323.6 yards/game – 7.7 yards/attempt – 10 300+ games – 43TD/19INT
- 2013: 446/650 (68.6%) – 5,162 yards – 322.6 yards/game – 7.9 yards/attempt – 11 300+ games – 39TD/12INT
Runner Up: Jimmy Graham (21%)
Saints Defensive MVP: Cameron Jordan (52%)
The Saints got the most out of Jordan this season, as his third year proved to be the best of his career. Jordan would finish with 12.5 sacks, averaging 8.1 yards lost for each sack. Along with Junior Galette, these two caused havoc for opposing offensive lines and their quarterbacks. He’s a crucial staple for the Saints pass rush, and is well deserving of this award. Let’s also not forget to point out that Jordan was voted to his first Pro Bowl this season.
Runner Up: Keenan Lewis (25%)
Saints ‘Early’ Season Injury That Hurt the Worst: Victor Butler (36%)
Fans were excited to see what Victor Butler would be able to contribute with the new 3-4 scheme of Rob Ryan, as he had previously played for Ryan in Dallas. It seemed to be a match made in heaven, as Butler would have been opposite of Junior Galette as an outside linebacker, but an ACL injury in training camp after a collision with Mark Ingram would never let us see it on the field.
Runner Up: Joe Morgan (28%)
‘Needs To Be Recognized’ Award: Awarded to the player who doesn’t get enough credit publicly, and his play transpired on the field.
2013 Recipient: David Hawthorne
‘We Couldn’t Do It Without You’ Award: Awarded to the player who is often overlooked, but is a key component to the team’s success.
2013 Recipient: Curtis Lofton
Best New Who Dat: Awarded to the player deemed as the best overall new addition to the team.
2013 Recipient: Keenan Lewis
Stay tuned for Part 2, as we reveal the Grades for each position.
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