Kristopher Knox at Bleacher Report recently listed players and teams who will fall short of offseason expectations in 2021. Many factors were accounted for (preseason performances, injuries, etc.) in the making of the list, and Knox makes an asterisked point that the term “flop” is completely relative.
He then jumps into the list, which includes not just one Saints player but the entire Saints team as a potential flop this season.
Why so pessimistic, Knox? Here are a few reasons he offers as to why the Saints will struggle in 2021:
First, the obvious. The ongoing quarterback battle between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill hasn’t quelled any Saints fan’s worries, much less those of sportswriters. Having a tight position battle for, say, left guard, continue well into the preseason isn’t nearly as concerning as having a quarterback competition come down to the wire.
New Orleans Saints listed as one of NFL’s biggest “flops” in 2021
Payton seems intent on dragging it out until the final preseason game which doesn’t bode well for developing strong team chemistry in this chaotic post-Brees era.
And the Saints are going to need every ounce of offensive chemistry after Michael Thomas’ surgery will sideline him for the start of the season. New Orleans also lost several other juggernauts due to salary cap restrictions including Trey Hendrickson, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jared Cook.
Knox definitively declares New Orleans as the second-best team in the division, behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who lost to the Saints twice last year but look like they’re coming back even stronger (and drinking some of Brady’s Kool-Aid, perhaps).
Following Brees’ retirement, the Saints have indeed started a new chapter of the franchise, one that may result in missing the playoffs…or worse.
Imagine if both Hill and Winston were absolutely terrible this season – Hill with his cowardly dropback groundings and Winston with multiple picks every game. Or imagine if Michael Thomas doesn’t return to even half his form, or if Marquez Callaway goes cold, or if their tight ends keep dropping like flies.
If everything that can go wrong does, the Saints could easily “flop” harder than a bare-bellied, cringe-inducing, splash-tastic plummet into unforgiving waters.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.