New Orleans Saints NFL Season Recap

New Orleans Saints NFL Betting Odds

New Orleans Saints NFL Betting

Not only did the 2020 NFL season end in bitter disappointment for the New Orleans Saints. But their Super Bowl window has likely ended as well. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took out the Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoffs 30-20. Drew Brees is expected to announce his retirement sometime this offseason. Assuming Brees retires, that leaves the Saints seemingly exposed at the quarterback position. And even if Brees would return for one last run at glory, who is to say that he would make a difference? As celebrated as Brees rightfully is, the Future Hall of Famer produced one Super Bowl championship season in 2009. It was the only time that the Saints ever made it to Super Sunday. And it may be a long time to come before they do again. New Orleans faces an uncertain future and what could be a tumultuous offseason.

New Orleans Saints Season Recap

The 2020 New Orleans Saints finished 12-4 straight up, 9-7 against the spread, and 10-6 over the total. New Orleans won the NFC South Division by one game over the Buccaneers, who they defeated twice in the regular season. New Orleans compiled NFL metrics of 12th for total offense, 19th for passing, 6th for rushing, 5th for points scored, and 8th for turnovers. Defensively the Saints ranked 4th best in the NFL overall, 5th against the pass, 4th against the rush, 5th for points allowed, and 7th for takeaways.

The Saints scored a 21-9 home payout over the Chicago Bears as 11-point chalks in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs. But they were eliminated by the Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional round 30-20 as 2.5-point home chalks.

Tampa Bay’s win over the Saints was no accident and revealed the New Orleans team's weaknesses. In the regular season, Drew Brees averaged 7.5 yards per pass.

That number was cause for concern about the Saints' lack of playmaking ability. However, in the playoffs, where the truth is often fully exposed, Brees averaged a pitiful 5.5 yards per pass attempt. His quarterback rating was 75.1 in two home playoff games compared to 106.4 in the regular season.

Some of the blame for this pedestrian passing attack must rest with head coach Sean Payton. Unlike most NFL coaches, Payton has a considerable say in who makes the Saints roster and how it’s comprised. New Orleans has failed to find a game-breaking wide receiver for Brees.

Two years ago, Brees averaged 8.2 yards per pass attempt with a quarterback rating of 115.7. He declined to 7.9 yards per attempt last season. And then this year, he posted the aforementioned 7.5 yards per attempt with a QB rating of 106.4. While most NFL quarterbacks would love such numbers, the fact remains that Brees is no longer at his peak. And played for a team dependent upon more than they got from him.

All of this leads to what Saints fans will come to believe to be a team tragedy. New Orleans had an extended Super Bowl window with Brees complemented by a strong defense. Yet the Saints never made it back to the Super Bowl. Some of it was bad luck, such as the 2018 NFC Championship Game, where the referees blew a prominent pass interference call that allowed the Los Angeles Rams new life in a devastating playoff loss for the Saints.

But so too did the Saints self-destruct, with such incidents as the “Minnesota Miracle” playoff loss and then this year’s defeat against Tampa Bay in the Divisional round.

Sean Payton deserves his share of credit for transforming the Saints into a perennial playoff contender. But Payton also deserves blame for failing to capitalize on what he had altogether. The window is slamming shut.

Jameis Winston is projected as the probable quarterback of the future, which will keep Saints fans tossing and turning throughout the offseason. Payton can’t possibly believe Winston is the answer. But will he be able to find a replacement? Just ask New England’s Bill Belichick just how difficult that task can be.

Running back Alvin Kamara was the top story for New Orleans in 2020.  Kamara led the Saints in receiving and rushing. He averaged 5.0 yards per rush with 16 touchdowns this season. Kamara was named a Pro Bowler for the fourth straight campaign.

New Orleans Saints Schedule & Results

Week 1 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 34-23 1-0
Week 2 at Las Vegas Raiders L 24-34 1-1
Week 3 vs Green Bay Packers L 30-37 1-2
Week 4 at Detroit Lions W 35-29 2-2
Week 5 vs Los Angeles Chargers W 30-27 (OT) 3-2
Week 7 vs Carolina Panthers W 27-24 4-2
Week 8 at Chicago Bears W 26-23 5-2
Week 9 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 38-3 6-2
Week 10 vs San Francisco 49ers W 27-13 7-2
Week 11 vs Atlanta Falcons W 24-9 8-2
Week 12 at Denver Broncos W 31-3 9-2
Week 13 at Atlanta Falcons W 21-16 10-2
Week 14 at Philadelphia Eagles L 21-24 10-3
Week 15 vs Kansas City Chiefs L 29-32 10-4
Week 16 vs Minnesota Vikings W 52-33 11-4
Week 17 at Carolina Panthers W 33-7 12-4
Wild Card Round vs Chicago Bears W 21-9 12-4
Divisional Round vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 20-30 12-4
NFL Football Picks

Saints Past Seasons (2000)

2020 12-4 Lost Divisional Round
2019 13-3 Lost Divisional Round
2018 13-3 Lost Conference Championship
2017 11-5 Lost Divisional Round
2016 7-9 None
2015 7-9 None
2014 7-9 None
2013 11-5 Lost Divisional Round
2012 7-9 None
2011 13-3 Lost Divisional Round
2010 11-5 Lost Wild Card Round
2009 13-3 Won Super Bowl
2008 8-8 None
2007 7-9 None
2006 10-6 Lost Conference Championship
2005 3-13 None
2004 8-8 None
2003 8-8 None
2002 9-7 None
2001 7-9 None
2000 10-6 Lost Divisional Round

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