The New Orleans Saints made crucial additions this offseason, but they may not have done enough to prove themselves a worthy playoff contender in 2022.
NOLA was just one win away from making the postseason last year, and that was when they suffered multiple obstacles including a shaky offensive line, an injured Alvin Kamara, and a four quarterback rotation.
This upcoming season already looks sunnier with Jameis Winston solidly starting under center along with an improved offensive unit, but some NFL pundits don’t believe the Saints have earned the respect of the league just yet.
Bleacher Report recently released their 2022 NFL post-draft power rankings and had the Saints ranked 21st in the league, naming two factors for why the Saints may not be a playoff contender just yet:
"“First, everyone needs to see how Winston recovered from his torn ACL. Even a healthy Winston still brings more questions than answers regarding his status as the team’s starting quarterback.Secondly, Dennis Allen received a second opportunity to be an NFL head coach. The opportunity proved to be overwhelming much earlier in his career. Can he be the stabilizing influence the franchise needs after Sean Payton chose to step away from the game?”"
New Orleans Saints pitifully ranked 21st in the league after draft
Those two factors will heavily influence how much success the Saints achieve this season, and we can sadly agree that the Saints have mostly unproven talent on their roster in 2022. Jameis Winston’s and Michael Thomas’ returns from injury could either go incredibly well or incredibly poorly while rookies Chris Olave and Trevor Penning have yet to show their worth on the field.
What peeves us more than the Saints’ low ranking is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ ridiculously high one: the Brady-led Bucs are ranked 4th in the league per Bleacher Report’s metrics.
If, on paper, the Bucs are so much better than the Saints, why is it that NOLA has beaten Tampa Bay in every regular season matchup for the last four meetings?
At least the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are ranked 29th and 30th respectively, which speaks to the relative weakness of the NFC this season.
In any case, the Saints are fighting an uphill battle to get back to relevance, and the two leaders of this critical 2022 campaign are unequivocally Dennis Allen and Jameis Winston.
Will they lead NOLA to gleaming playoff success or another devastating season finish?