(NEW ORLEANS, La.) — The New Orleans Saints came up short of the Super Bowl twice in the past two years and are seeking redemption. As 2009 Super Bowl champions, the Saints hope to do the same thing 11 years later. With 18 of their 22 starters and eight of the ten pro bowlers returning from last year, the Saints are expecting a promising season. Just like in 2009, the Super Bowl will be held in Miami, Florida for the 11th time in NFL history.
Offense: With a great returning trio in Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas, the Saints offense looks to run up the scoreboard. The Saints ranked third in points per game in the NFL with 31.5 average points throughout the 2018 season. Drew Brees, coming into his 14th season with the Saints, looks to stay on track to be one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Running back Alvin Kamara is heading into his third season. He has shown that he was well worth his selection in the third round of the 2017 draft, being one of the most pivotal players since then. Jared Cook and Latavius Murray are new additions to the Saints offense. Murray is a solid five year running back with a 6’4 stature, while Jared Cook is an 11 year veteran and a great asset to take the pressure off of Michael Thomas in the passing game. Michael Thomas, who is a top five receiver, is paired with veteran Ted Ginn Jr. and Rookie Tre’Quan Smith. Swiss Army Knife Taysom Hill lives up to his name by playing quarterback, tight end, and running back. He has been a very versatile weapon for Drew Brees and the offense.
Defense: The defense has lived in the shadow of the offense ever since Drew Brees arrived in 2006. Every year the team is successful, the defense has played a large role. Over the past few years, the unit has been known for their terrific run defense and the ability to force turnovers on the ground and in the air. The defense contains talent that ranges from Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport to the defensive backs of Marshon Lattimore, Eli Apple, and Marcus Williams. The line backing corps are led by Demario Davis, and they seek another promising year of stuffing the run. The Saints will miss elite defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins due to an injury that occurred in the playoffs last year.
Special Teams: Kicker Will Lutz continues his hot streak from 2018 with only two missed field goals in 30 attempts. Thomas Morstead, a Pro Bowl punter, continues to dominate despite career low attempts in 2018. Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill returned most of the kicks and punts last season. The Saints took first in blocked punts last season, an impressive feat for the team.
Prediction: The Saints have been on the edge of going to the Super Bowl for a couple years now, including the controversial Divisional Playoff game against the Vikings in 2017 and Rams in 2018. Drew Brees and Sean Payton are getting older and older, and young players are reaching their prime; the time has come for the Saints to play in the Super Bowl again.
The Paper Wolf Prediction: The Saints will go 13-3 and win Super Bowl LIV over Tom Brady and the Patriots.