If Saints can survive, they can succeed in the 2022 season

New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

What does success look like for the New Orleans Saints in 2022? One word: survival.

With Sean Payton and Drew Brees out the door, the Saints open a new chapter of their history with the start of the 2022 season, one that ushers in the Dennis Allen era and features Jameis Winston under center.

Allen and Winston are no Payton and Brees — the latter duo have countless awards and recognitions to their names and are considered two of the most influential members of the Saints franchise of all time. Following in their footsteps is near-impossible, but Allen and Winston nonetheless are the chosen ones expected to continue their storied legacy.

And they can start by simply “surviving” the 2022 season.

Good Morning Football’s Kay Adams proposed a checklist outlining what would make the Saints’ 2022 season a success, and at the top of her list was “surviving” without Sean Payton and Drew Brees.

Adams said:

"“This is the first time the Saints are going to be without those two since 2005…. These are two mega-leaders of this team. Who is going to step up? I feel like the Saints are a little bit naked, just standing in the wind right now and vulnerable.”"

Adams, a self-proclaimed Saints fan, adopted the Saints not too long ago and has since lavished plenty of praise on NOLA from crediting the team for its admirable 2021 performance to ranking the team’s defense as No. 1 in the NFL.

Will the New Orleans Saints survive without Sean Payton in 2022?

The departure of Sean Payton dealt a catastrophic blow to the franchise this offseason as undergoing both a head coach and a quarterback transition may be the toughest test for any NFL organization.

Adams is understandably keeping her expectations to a minimum, yet the Saints also have all the pieces in place for not just “surviving” the 2022 season, but thriving as well.

As long as Winston stays healthy and doesn’t regress to his 30-30 days, he can provide the much-needed spark to the Saints’ offense, working with Chris Olave, Jarvis Landry, and Michael Thomas to generate a much more efficient and dangerous passing attack.

The Saints’ defense already ranked highly in all categories last season, and the team made up for its offseason losses with vital acquisitions like Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu.

Seeing the Saints survive in 2022 would be seeing the team achieve pretty much the same things as last year: creeping to a winning record and just barely missing the playoffs.

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With the amount of talent and experience on their roster, the Saints can and should shoot higher, but “surviving” without Payton and Brees is certainly a good start.