The 2021 NFL season is officially in the books now that Super Bowl LVI is a wrap.
That means the New Orleans Saints can start looking ahead to the offseason and the 2022 season. Our friends over at Bleacher Report think the Saints have their work cut out for them this year.
Bleacher Report dropped their first post-Super Bowl power rankings, and the New Orleans Saints are in unfamiliar territory. Gone are the days when the Saints were considered pre-season contenders simply as a matter of course. Now, the Saints are in the back-third of the NFL rankings.
26. New Orleans Saints
To say that the New Orleans Saints are a franchise in flux doesn’t begin to cover it.
Last year, the Saints played the first season of the post-Drew Brees era. Frankly, given all the injuries the team had under center and the absence of star wideout Michael Thomas for the entire season, a nine-win season was arguably one of Sean Payton’s better jobs as head coach.
Of course, therein lies the problem—Payton is gone too. The Saints’ best quarterback last year (Jameis Winston) is a free agent. No one knows when (or if) Thomas could rejoin the team. The salary-cap situation in New Orleans is a nightmare—no team in the league is more in the red.
However, despite all those issues (and Dennis Allen’s 8-28 record as a head coach), he told reporters that he doesn’t envision 2022 as a rebuilding season in the Big Easy.
“I can tell you this, our team is going to be tough,” Allen said. “Our team is going to be smart, and our team’s gonna be highly competitive. And we’re gonna play with a passion and an energy that our opponents are either unwilling or unable to match. And that’s what the New Orleans Saints are going to be about.”
Tell yourself whatever you need to, Coach.
Do you agree with this assessment? Should the Saints be viewed as the 6th-worst team in the NFL as it currently stands? Bleacher Report has New Orleans ahead of only the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, and Houston Texans. While the Panthers (29) are behind the Saints in Bleacher Report’s power rankings, the rest of the NFC South is ranked ahead of New Orleans.
The entire NFC South is expected to be garbage right now in 2022.
Maybe the Saints can be the best garbage of the lot.
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