Why the Saints will bring a Super Bowl ring back to the Bayou

Maddox de Bretteville, Sports Editor

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Two years in a row of crushing playoff defeat have never left the minds of the New Orleans Saints team or their fans. The Minneapolis Miracle in the 2018 playoffs and the missed pass interference call in the Saints versus Rams 2019 NFC Championship game serve as the motivation for this team as they quest for another Super Bowl ring. The teams combination of a Hall-of-Fame quarterback, genius coach, MVP candidate wide receiver, monstrous offensive line, and a killer pass rush will aid them along the way. Drew Brees brought the franchise their first Super Bowl back in 2009; he will bring the Saints their second ring more than ten years later in 2020. 

Drew Brees and Sean Payton are arguably the greatest quarterback-coach duo of all-time. They stand second all-time in qb coach duo wins behind only Tom Brady and Bill Belichik. The combination of Sean Payton’s master play-calling and Drew Brees’s football IQ has led the duo to eight of the franchise’s thirteen division championships. Although Brees is clearly aging and missed five games due to a hand injury, the offensive scheme and quality of skill players around Brees will help mask any deterioration in his game. 

Even though Michael Thomas likely won’t win the MVP because of the stellar play from Lamar Jackson this season, the fourth year wide receiver is having one of the greatest receiving seasons of all time. Only one wide receiver has ever one the MVP: Jerry Rice in 1987, who is considered one of the best football players ever. Through 13 games, Michael Thomas has amounted 121 receptions for 1,424 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is currently on pace to beat Marvin Harrison’s single-season receptions record of 143 receptions in one season. With a player like Michael Thomas, the entire Saints receiving corps can succeed because the opposing defense focuses all their attention on one player.

Part of the reason the Saints have been able to find success this season is their offensive line. Led by Pro Bowlers Terron Armstead and Andrus Peat, the Saints offensive line is rated the number one run-blocking line and number four pass protection line by Football Outsiders. The time the line provides for shifty players like Alvin Kamara and precision passers like Drew Brees makes it extremely difficult for opposing defenses to contain the Saints’ offense. 

Typically, Sean Payton’s teams have been comprised of a league best offense and a horrendous defense, often leading to shootouts where both teams score in excess of thirty points. However, the Saints defense does not get enough credit. They are ranked number nine in the league in total defense, which isn’t the best but is far from what they used to be. Part of this can be accredited to Cameron Jordan who has 13.5 sacks, third-most in the league this year.

With all they have going for them from their coaching to their play on both sides of the ball, it is hard to see why the Saints won’t be successful in this year’s postseason. The presence of great teams like the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens spark some doubt about the ability of the Saints to succeed in the playoffs. However, the football genius of Sean Payton will lead the Saints over any obstacle in their way and will lead them to the 2020 Super Bowl Ring.