Things may be dramatically different this year.
At 41 years old, Drew Brees could be entering the potential final two seasons of his career, and the pressure to win one more Super Bowl is higher than ever. He has a solid corps around him with guys like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Flailing in the playoffs might have been just a misstep.
The Saints brought back Malcolm Jenkins on defense, adding a veteran presence to the secondary. The team also gets back Cameron Jordan, Marshon Lattimore and Demario Davis. However, the team will have to work harder than ever after losing key tacklers Vonn Bell and A.J. Klein in free agency.
It’s going to be harder than ever for the Saints to have quite the success they had in 2019. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Tom Brady to an already loaded offense, the Carolina Panthers are reloaded with a new coach and new quarterback, and the Atlanta Falcons have several veterans who know what it takes to get to the Super Bowl.
Thirteen wins are possible for New Orleans, but they will have to overachieve in a tough division.
5 THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
NEW ADDITION HIGHLIGHT: MALCOLM JENKINS
Malcolm Jenkins isn’t totally new to the Saints. He played in New Orleans from 2009 to 2013 before spending six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He rejoined the Saints in the offseason and is bringing much more than just a veteran presence on defense with him to the Big Easy.
During his time in Philly, Jenkins found his voice on the social justice front and it blossomed into taking on national issues in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Jenkins criticized teammate Drew Brees over the quarterback’s stance on the national anthem and later said that football was a “nonessential business” and shouldn’t be played amid the coronavirus.
He’s been adamant about players in the NFL using their platform and speaking out on social justice issues. With several places in the U.S. seeing protests and unrest over the deaths of Black people in police incidents, it’s anticipated that Jenkins will be a leader in some sort of demonstration come Week 1.
“I think anybody who’s looking to use sports, especially this year, as an outlet to kind of get away from what’s happening right now in our country is probably gonna be sadly mistaken especially as we move towards the fall,” Jenkins said in July.
Offense: Drew Brees (QB), Alvin Kamara (RB), Michael Thomas (WR), Emmanuel Sanders (WR), Tre'Quan Smith (WR), Jared Cook (TE), Terron Armstead (OT), Andrus Peat (OG), Erik McCoy (C), Cesar Ruiz (OG), Ryan Ramczyk (OT)
Defense: Cameron Jordan (DE), Sheldon Rankins (DT), Malcom Brown (DT), Marcus Davenport (DE), Demario Davis (LB), Craig Robertson (LB), Alex Anzalone (LB), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Malcolm Jenkins (S), Marcus Williams (S), Marshon Lattimore (CB)
Special Teams: Wil Lutz (K), Thomas Morstead (P)
2020 SAINTS SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)
Week 1: Buccaneers (9/13; 4:25 pm)
Week 2: @ Raiders (9/21; 8:15 pm)
Week 3: Packers (9/27; 8:20 pm)
Week 4: @ Lions (10/4; 1 pm)
Week 5: Chargers (10/12; 8:15 pm)
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Panthers (10/25; 1 pm)
Week 8: @ Bears (11/1; 4:25 pm)
Week 9: @ Buccaneers (11/8; 8:20 pm)
Week 10: 49ers (11/15; 4:25 pm)
Week 11: Falcons (11/22; 1 pm)
Week 12: @ Broncos (11/29; 4:05 pm)
Week 13: @ Falcons (12/6; 1 pm)
Week 14: @ Eagles (12/13; 4:25 pm)
Week 15: Chiefs (12/20; 4:25 pm)
Week 16: Vikings (12/25; 4:30 pm)
Week 17: @ Panthers (1/3; 1 pm)
To win the Super Bowl: +1100
Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider.