Saints receiver Emmanuel Sanders says he came to New Orleans to win a Super Bowl. The last two games have proved they might not win one without him.
The New Orleans Saints know exactly what Emmanuel Sanders is capable of.
They had a first-hand look last season as Sanders, who then play for the San Francisco 49ers, came in the Superdome and shined in a wild 48-46 49ers victory.
Not only did Sanders have seven catches for 157 yards and a touchdown that game, but he also threw a 35-yard touchdown pass as well. The Saints knew then how big an impact Sanders could have on their team.
The Saints made sure he would be having impacts like those in Black and Gold as the Saints signed the veteran wide receiver to a two-year, $16 million contract in the offseason. The idea was to pair the speedy veteran alongside star wide receiver Michael Thomas to form a dynamic duo on the outside.
That dream pairing was short-lived as Thomas hurt his ankle the first game of the season and subsequently missed the next three games because of it. Thomas also missed a 4th straight game due to disciplinary reasons from the team.
This thrust Sanders into the lead No. 1 role at wide receiver and he has certainly delivered in the last 2 games.
During a Week 4 victory against the Detroit Lions, Sanders was clutch as he caught 6sixpasses for 93 yards in the 35-29 win. He followed that effort up with an even better one against the Los Angeles Chargers.
In front of a national TV audience, Sanders was brilliant in the Saints come from behind 30-27 overtime victory. He caught 12 passes for 122 yards and proved how valuable his offseason signing was.
In years past, the Saints have shuffled guys in that number 2 role behind the main star. Sanders seems ready and willing to embrace either role and has shown himself to be very productive.
The exciting part will be when Thomas returns to the lineup. Naturally, Sanders’ production will wane, but having another explosive outside threat will not only keep defenses honest but make take this offense to the next level.
Having Sanders, Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, and others will certainly keep opposing defensive head coaches up at night wondering how to defend the Saints.
New Orleans knew they needed a guy like Emmanuel Sanders and they went out and got him. Sanders thought the Saints had a chance at a title. Sanders has so far done his part. Here’s hoping the Saints and Sanders can both achieve their goal.