For the first time since the 2006 season, Drew Brees will not under centre for the Saints. Jameis Winston takes over as QB1 in The Big Easy.
It truly is a new era in New Orleans. For the first time since the 2006, Drew Brees will not be under centre when the Saints battle the Packers in Week 1 of the NFL season. Brees spent 15 years in The Big Easy and his next stop is the Hall of Fame in Canton. Brees is the greatest Saint to ever wear the jersey and he will be missed.
The front office also took a loss, as one of its top executives, former pro personnel director Terry Fontenot, took a job with division rival Atlanta as its general manager.
Back to the Quarterback position. It seems Head Coach Sean Payton’s biggest decision will be who starts game number one replacing Brees? Is it Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill? When camp closed it was announced that Winston will get the Week 1 start. Alvin Kamara is back and will be the centrepiece of the offence. Alongside receivers Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway among others.
New Orleans Saints Acquisitions and Moves
We mentioned the loss of Drew Brees but the Saints are lucky to have two pivots ready to move into a starting position. Jameis Winston won the job in training camp but Taysom Hill will still be a large part of this offence. Hill can and should be on the field at all times; used as receiver, tight end and of course another quarterback on the field.
Alvin Kamara will likely handle a major portion of the offence. Currently at Sports Interaction, he is listed at 950.5 rushing yards for the season. It’s a mark he is likely to exceed.
Michael Thomas is expected back after an injury-plagued season. However, Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris and Adam Trautman are all expected to make contributions this year; all are under the age of 25 years old.
The defence will look a lot different this season. Top pass rusher Trey Hendrickson (Bengals) alongside two key rotational pieces at defensive tackle in Malcom Brown (Jaguars) and Sheldon Rankins (Jets) are off this roster. One of the NFL’s better cover corners Janoris Jenkins found a new home, signing with the Tennessee Titans.
The Saints added to their defence with first round pick Payton Turner, defensive end out of Houston and free agent Tanoh Kpassagnon.
Of note, Kicker Wil Lutz has scheduled surgery to a repair a core muscle injury and it is unclear if he’ll return in time for the regular season. The team has brought in free agent Aldrick Rosas to fill the void.
New Orleans Saints 2021 NFL Schedule
The Saints are coming off a 12-4 season in 2020. New Orleans is tied 7th on the strength of schedule. That’s based on opponents’ records from the previous year. They will face the Super Bowl champions Bucs twice this season on October 31 and December 19.
They start the season hosting Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and the meat of the schedule happens after their bye week in Week 6. The Saints will travel to Seattle (Week 7), host the Bucs (Week 8) and start a three-game road trip in Week’s 9-11, with trips to Atlanta, Tennessee and Philadelphia, followed by a home game against the Bills.
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 12 vs. Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 19 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 26 at New England Patriots, 1:00 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3 vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10 at Washington Football Team, 1:00 a.m.
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7: Monday, Oct. 25 at Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7 at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14 at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 25 vs. Buffalo Bills, 8:20 p.m.
Week 13: Thursday, Dec. 2 at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12 at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:25 p.m.
Week 16: Monday Dec. 27 vs. Miami Dolphins, 8:15 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.
Week 18: Sunday, Jan. 9 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.
New Orleans Saints NFL Betting Odds
The Saints are paying +111 to make the playoffs, which is a bet I would recommend. Their over/under win total is listed at 8 wins. The over is paying -139 and that’s the direction I would grade this team entering the 2021 season. They are also a small underdog to win the NFC South paying +389. The Saints are paying a respectable +2600 to win the Super Bowl. How ironic would it be for the franchise to win another Championship a year after their franchise quarterback retires?
New Orleans Saints 2021 Season Prediction
Here’s a longshot of longshots, what about Jameis Winston for league MVP? Winston is surrounded by a very good offence and a ton of weapons around him. If the preseason has told us anything (I know its only the preseason) it’s that Famous Jameis is ready for the starting quarterback spotlight once again. It pays +4100 at Sports Interaction.
I have penciled down the Saints for a 10-7 season which should put them in the mix for a division title, but more likely a wildcard spot in the NFC.