The New Orleans Saints watched their star quarterback Drew Brees go down this past Sunday, and Michael Thomas may be the main beneficiary.
This past Sunday, Michael Thomas played over three-quarters of the offensive snaps. He’s played in just three games this season, and he’s struggled to really get anything going even when he’s been on the field.
Jameis Winston, who is prone to throwing it deep and making big-time plays, may be able to boost his usage.
Winston threw for the most yards in the NFL in 2019, and while Brees may be the most accurate quarterback over the last few seasons, he hasn’t shown the greatest arm strength. Much of his yardage has come from dump downs to Alvin Kamara this season.
Brees is looking short and utilizing his tight end and running backs. It’s what was expected after Michael Thomas’ injury, but even when he’s on the field, Thomas hasn’t been the same star that he was a season ago.
Thomas had seven targets last season and two receptions. He has 18 targets on the season and just ten receptions. While he has been injured, the Saints have just spread the ball around more, using their threats at every position instead of just force-feeding Thomas.
Winston had two 1,000-yard receivers last year. Chris Godwin, his middle-of-the-field threat, ended the season with over a 70 percent completion rate. Winston can hit the easy throws, and Thomas will flourish with him taking the snaps.
A pass-heavy offense should come out of the Winston for Brees swap, if it wasn’t something the Saints already had. Brees will be back in a couple of weeks, but that should be enough time for the Saints to get Thomas going.
Winston threw over 600 times last season. He’ll be able to get the ball to Thomas, and it should help alleviate some pressure the team has faced when giving Alvin Kamara too many touches on screens.
The Saints, behind a rejuvenated and healthy Thomas, should be just fine moving forward.