The Saints' leaders in receiving yards tell quite the story

New Orleans Saints, Chris Olave
New Orleans Saints, Chris Olave / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The No.1 wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints so far this season is a welcome sight, but the rest of the top-five is pretty pathetic.

One needs only to watch a single Saints game to understand how poorly their offense is run in 2022. Part of the issue stems from unpredictable injuries (offensive line, Michael Thomas) yet a plethora of other factors also account for the team's overall lackluster production.

NOLA's passing offense, a unit that carried so much potential at the beginning of the season, has fallen far from its pedestal and currently projects to be one of the most inefficient in the league. In 2022, the Saints rank ninth in passing yards per game but rank 17th in points per game.

First, the lone positive: rookie Chris Olave has been an absolute stud filling in as the WR1, and he leads the team with 658 yards.

It's nice to see the first-rounder doing so well, but it's not so pleasant to read the rest of the Saints' top receivers list, which is as follows: Alvin Kamara, Juwan Johnson, Tre'Quan Smith, Jarvis Landry.

After Olave, the Saints' receiving yards leaders are essentially an underperforming running back, a formerly No. 2 tight end, a receiver who really wasn't supposed to play at all this season, and Landry.

Landry missed five games this year due to injury, and Michael Thomas isn't on this list after missing most of the season as well.

The numbers paint an ugly picture of the Saints' passing offense in 2022

That leaves Olave as the team's shining star in the receiver corps, though his 658 yards and two touchdowns aren't very impressive when compared to other teams' WR1s.

Olave didn't have a problem with his red zone production back at Ohio State, so it would appear that the problem lies in the Saints' pitiful quarterback play. Andy Dalton took over the starting job from Jameis Winston earlier this season and has managed to string together passes here and there; however, he's simply not a viable long-term solution for the Saints.

He may not even be a short-term solution as many fans want Winston to start ahead of Dalton for the rest of the season. After all, what more do the Saints have to lose?

The Saints' top-five receiver list tells a story filled with more disappointments than successes. Olave's ascension has firmly made him a franchise offensive piece and Johnson has solidified himself as the team's No. 1 tight end, yet the more established veterans haven't delivered this season.

While Kamara is on pace to eclipse last year's receiving yard total, his numbers as a pass-catcher have steadily declined since 2020, which coincidentally is when the Saints started to have quarterback issues.

Landry was touted as one of the most valuable signings of the offseason, bringing loads of experience and the burgeoning hope that he could impact the passing attack, but after one stellar performance in the season-opener, he's hardly lived up to expectations.

The former Browns wideout was widely considered to be a smart investment at the position, yet his current ranking in the receiver corps suggests the Saints got exactly what they paid for: a bargain-bin slot guy who hasn't managed to outperform Smith -- the player he was supposed to replace -- this season.

Granted, Landry did get bitten by the injury bug in an unlucky turn of events given that he maintained a mostly clean bill of health for the past eight years. His first year and possibly last year in New Orleans has been disheartening nonetheless.

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With the offensive line limping on its last leg and the uninspiring Andy Dalton still starting at center, expect more of the same mediocrity from the Saints' passing game for the rest of 2022.