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2018 New Orleans Saints Regular Season Game Balls

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Who was your Saints regular season M.V.P.?

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints The Advertiser-USA TODAY NETWORK

The New Orleans Saints ended their 2018 regular season with a 33-14 loss by their Junior Varsity team to the Carolina Panthers. Having already clinched the NFC's top seed coming into the game, the Saints rested the majority of their offensive starters and had an extremely vanilla game plan defensively. New Orleans was one of the NFL's most dominant teams throughout the 2018 season, and now goes into the postseason as a prohibitive favorite to capture their second Super Bowl championship. Here are some of the top performers from one of the best regular seasons in Saints history.

Drew Brees

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Brees continued to play at an elite level most weeks. His 3,992 passing yards fell just shy of extending his own league record to thirteen straight seasons with over 4,000 yards through the air. He did break another of his own NFL records though, by leading the league in completion percentage with 74.4%, shattering his own mark set last year. During the course of the season, Brees became the NFL's all-time leader in completions and passing yardage, while inching toward the top spot in touchdown passes. He finished this year with 32 touchdown passes and only 5 interceptions, and added another four scores rushing. Brees threw for over 300 yards six times this year, and at 39 years old may finally win the much deserved, and overdue, league M.V.P. award that has eluded him throughout his legendary career.

Michael Thomas

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Thomas was targeted on 147 passes, and led the NFL with a team record 125 receptions, an incredible 87.8% catch percentage. He caught 9 touchdown passes, and his 1,405 receiving yards were also a single season franchise record. He continues to be highly productive against defenses designed to try and stop him, and has been nearly unstoppable on intermediate routes and third downs. Thomas' 321 receptions within his first three seasons are an NFL record, and the 25-yr. old wideout appears to be just getting started. He already has an impressive collection of team records, and is already getting his name mentioned among the greatest players in team history, with perhaps the best to come.

Alvin Kamara

Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Kamara led the Saints with 883 yards rushing, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and scored 14 rushing touchdowns, a single season team record. He was also second on the team with 81 receptions for 709 yards and added another 4 scores through the air. Kamara's 18 offensive touchdowns were second in the league, and tied Dalton Hilliard for the single season franchise mark. Last year's offensive rookie of the year surprised some with his ability to be effective as an inside runner. Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram missed the first four games due to a league suspension, but Kamara showed that he had the ability to take on the role of an every down back. He is one of the league's most versatile weapons, and can be deadly anywhere along the offensive formation, striking fear in opposing defenses from any position.

Ryan Ramczyk

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The entire Saints offensive line brutalized opponents throughout the 2018 season, controlling games and flattening defenses. Ramczyk, the second year right tackle, played at a Pro Bowl level all season. The line protected their Hall of Fame quarterback well, allowing Brees to get sacked only 17 times. They also paved the way for a top ten rushing attack that averaged nearly 127 yards per game and led the league with 26 rushing touchdowns. Much of that success on the ground came over the right side, where Ramczyk and guard Larry Warford formed one of the most formidable duos in the league. Ramczyk was overlooked in this year's Pro Bowl voting, along with ridiculous oversights to Kamara, Sheldon Rankins, and Demario Davis, but the 24-yr. old lineman is already recognized as one of the better tackles in the league.

Cameron Jordan

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan had another outstanding season, getting voted to his second straight Pro Bowl and fourth overall. He led the team with 12 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, and 21 quarterback hits. Often subjected to double or even triple team blocking, Cam Jordan continues to make plays, and is one of the NFL's best defensive linemen. He is underrated as a run defender, and is one of the most versatile edge rushers in the league, able to beat opponents with both power and speed.

Sheldon Rankins

Pittsburgh Steelers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Rankins provided a monstrous presence in the middle of the Saints defense, exactly what the team envisioned when selecting him with the 12th overall pick of the 2016 draft. Rankins had career highs with 41 tackles and 8 sacks, which was second on the team. He destroyed interior blocking schemes for the opposition, often blowing up plays before they developed. He has given the defense a viable inside pass rushing threat to go along with the edge presence of Jordan, Alex Okafor, rookie Marcus Davenport, along with coordinator Dennis Allen's blitz packages. Rankins' ability to collapse the pass pocket has forced opposing quarterbacks into critical mistakes, along with limiting the overall effectiveness of the passing game at times.

Demario Davis

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Davis was arguably the best offseason free agent signing of the entire NFL. He led the Saints in both solo (74) and total tackles (110) while forcing two fumbles, adding a fumble recovery, and finishing third on the team with 5 sacks. His sideline to sideline aggressiveness and athleticism provided an instant upgrade to the New Orleans front seven and linebacking corps. Davis combined with Alex Anzalone and A.J. Klein to give the team it's best linebacking unit in years. They spearheaded a defense that finished second in rushing yards and yards per carry, bottling up some of the best running backs in the league. Davis has proven equally effective against the pass as well as the run. He's capably covered both backs and tight ends, as well as being a devastating blitzer.

Wil Lutz

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Lutz had one of the best kicking seasons of anyone in Saints history. He scored 136 points and converted 28 of his 30 field goal attempts, including all 15 attempts of under 40 yards. Lutz has been the model of consistency, and has given New Orleans one of the most stable kicking situations in the league. His accuracy and strong leg allow the Saints important scoring opportunities from well outside the red zone, which may prove to be vital throughout the playoffs.

Poll

Who was your Saints regular season M.V.P.

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Drew Brees
    (256 votes)
  • 4%
    Alvin Kamara
    (22 votes)
  • 14%
    Michael Thomas
    (72 votes)
  • 3%
    Ryan Ramczyk
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Cam Jordan
    (10 votes)
  • 5%
    Sheldon Rankins
    (26 votes)
  • 15%
    Demario Davis
    (79 votes)
  • 2%
    Wil Lutz
    (14 votes)
494 votes total Vote Now