Saints dubbed a team “likely to take a major fall in 2021”

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

While we heard this last season, the New Orleans Saints, according to some analysts, are expected to take a “major fall” in 2021.

The New Orleans Saints were 12-4 last season. They won the NFC South for a division-record fourth straight time.

It was on the back of future Hall of Fame Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and a dynamic defense. In 2021, it’s expected that Brees will no longer be with the team. How they morph to fit a different quarterback will be telling.

What is nice to think about is how this team performed over the last few seasons without Brees in the lineups. They were 8-1 with a perfect 5-0 stretch in 2019, 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater and 3-1 with Taysom Hill.

Next season, it’s expected to be Jameis Winston leading the way. Winston was the league’s passing leader in 2019, but he also led the league in turnover which is why he signed for under $2 million with New Orleans.

The lack of clarity has analysts thinking the Saints may not be that great in 2021 after dominating for four straight seasons. One is predicting them to still be over .500 though which should, at the very least, keep them in the playoffs.

“If Drew Brees does decide to retire, the Saints are bound to take a dive in the standings — no matter who Sean Payton uses at quarterback. Payton seems obsessed with giving Taysom Hill the opportunity to be the starting quarterback for a full season, which would result in a significant drop-off in offense….. A 9-7 record could be enough to get the Saints into the playoffs, but they won’t be a Super Bowl contender as in years past,” CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr wrote.

While Kerr could be correct, quite a bit will be riding on how Winston performs if he’s the one to take over from Winston. Taysom Hill does have a chance at the starting position, but it feels unlikely as he’s more a versatile, utility player than an every-down quarterback.

Another saving grace is that the bulk of the impactful players on both sides of the ball will be returning. After all, the team will have Demario Davis, Marshon Lattimore, Cameron Jordan, Michael Thomas, Kamara, and the entire offensive line returning.

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The Saints need a leader, and if they can get that, nine wins should be the least that they end the new year with.