Some people are fans of the New Orleans Saints. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New Orleans Saints. This 2021 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: New Orleans Saints.
Your 2020 record: 12-4. For years, I figured that Drew Brees would grow old as effortlessly as Tom Brady has. I mean really, how much can you age if you’re three feet tall? TURNS OUT QUITE A BIT.
That was one of the saddest football games I ever watched, and it’s not because I like Drew Brees. Drew Brees is probably an AI hologram, for all I know. No, I was sad because I had to sit through all three miserable hours of that shit.
But let’s go back a little bit before I go dancing atop Brees’s Tiny Tim–sized grave. The Saints started 1-2 in 2020, including a loss in the first-ever Las Vegas Raiders home game, which Jon Gruden will dine out on for the rest of his contract. They won nine in a row after that, including a 38-3 horsewhipping of the Bucs that got everyone’s nipples all perky. Drew Brees really showed Tom Brady who’s boss that night!
And then this happened a week later:
That’s 287 pounds of Kentavius Street landing on Brees and popping his lung like it was a balloon animal. No amount of AdvoCare fish bone powder was enough to fix it. So the head coach, smug bastard that he is, plugged Inspector Gadget in at quarterback after that and got away with three more wins—including a victory over the immortal Kendall Hinton—before reality asserted itself and the tag team of Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders ran for a buck each on them in a single loss. In fact, the Saints would only end up beating one winning team all of last season, playoffs included, and they would only beat that team twice. Not a third time.
Fast forward to the divisional round, when they hosted Tampa in a game they were favored to win. Brees was back under center for this game. He probably shouldn’t have been. The chart:
Fans of lesser teams know that you can only hide a compromised quarterback for so long. Whatever came out of Brees’s lungs on that Street sack included his ability to throw a football more than 10 yards down the field. The Saints went up 20-13 on Tampa and then committed three turnovers and allowed 17 unanswered points to end Brees’s career and whatever lingering fondness I had for them.
Your coach: Sean Payton, who hasn’t won an NFC title since 2009 and certainly won’t win another. When Drew Brees is your quarterback, you can afford to run a wildcat package with a glorified fantasy tight end whenever you’re feeling playful. Maybe even start that guy for a few games while doctors snap Brees’s ribs back into place.
But all that security is gone now. Payton is just another coach who’s gonna have to actually COACH his team because his QB won’t be able to do it for him. If you don’t think Payton is gonna deliberately underachieve so that he can sign a fat deal with the Cowboys a year from now, you haven’t been watching the same Sean Payton I have.
Do they have a Guy on the coaching staff? Former Raiders QB Ronald Curry is here! I love all mobile Guys. I certainly love Ronald Curry more than…
Your quarterback: Fuck.
That’s Jameis Winston, who is the greatest physical comedian in sports and the 26th best quarterback in the NFL. The above footage is of mechanics drills that pretty much every NFL quarterback does, but with Jameis they’re high art because A) Jameis LOVES to be seen honing his craft instead of in court on charges that he assaulted a local panda bear, and B) the result of all that extensive training will be 30 interceptions over the course of a single season. There’s a reason Tampa Bay won a Super Bowl the instant Jameis left town. He’s Ryan Fitzpatrick with a first-round pedigree. He’s also an unrepentant sex offender who, when not locking Uber drivers in their own trunk, is holding his own teammates hostage with motivational speeches he knows are being recorded. He really thinks this shit is gold.
The rest of the Bucs sound about as enthusiastic in this video as my 15-year-old does coming out of driver’s ed class. And yet, there still remains a hype-industrial complex around Jameis that’s as perplexing as it is enraging. Motherfucker had five years in Tampa and never accomplished a thing. He never even made the playoffs. All of his turnovers came with “Yakety Sax” playing underneath them. All Jameis does, on and off the field, is make America want to take a cold shower. And yet, people who oughta know better are practicing the kind willful amnesia about him that you’d normally only find during a Congressional hearing.
Keep in mind that the bulk of excitement around Jameis in New Orleans comes from him throwing two big TD passes in a preseason game against Jacksonville: a team that went 1-15 in 2020 and could somehow be worse in 2021. Wow. Amazing. If I saw a rookie quarterback do that shit, I’d still be skeptical. But Jameis Winston, who has done nothing but eat big greasy L’s his entire career, does it and serious people are like OH WOW THIS GUY IS FINALLY ON TRACK! Fuck that and fuck Jameis. He’s a piece of shit and he’s not even good enough at quarterback to make me forget it. He just oozes out onto the field, screams “WE GOTTA PROTECT THE F! THE F THERE MEANS FAM Y’ALL CAUSE WE FAMILY!” and then loses the ball up his own ass. I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. Putting a different uniform on Jameis doesn’t change a single goddamn thing about him. I hope he gets struck by lightning.
Taysom Hill, who spent this offseason doing extensive non-contract drills with New Orleans, is your backup. As soon as Jameis is benched for him, I’ll have a whole new round of bullshit hype to debunk.
What’s new that sucks: All your receivers are dead! Tre’Quan Smith currently has a mysterious injury to his leg (maybe Jameis tried to have sex with it). Deonte Harris is suspended the first two games for a DUI arrest. And then there’s Michael Thomas, who had surgery on his ankle in June and won’t be back until October at the earliest. Thomas could have had that surgery in January and didn’t. If you’re confused as to why, so is the head coach.
“It’s disappointing. We would have liked it to have happened earlier rather than later. And quite honestly, it should have.”
Let’s see how Thomas felt about that!
Keep in mind that Thomas got benched for one game by the Saints last season for punching his own teammate in practice, and is now in one of those weird staring contests now where the team may or may not want to trade him but is definitely very upset either way. There’s no Brees around this time to hold everything together. Brees fucked off to NBC to call Notre Dame games, where he’ll be the anti-Romo and earnestly tell the audience that Brian Kelly is NOT happy with how that series went. All that’s left here is Jameis, and no amount of his saliva is enough to keep everyone here bonded together. As it stands right now, your No. 1 wideout is Marquez Callaway and your No. 1 tight end is no one. You’re not moving the ball for shit.
On the other side of the ball, the Saints had to gut their own defense because they started this offseason $100 million over the cap.
“It’s not a rebuild for us,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It might be what I would call a retool.”
If you mean retooling into a mediocre ballclub, then you’re dead on. A flotilla of starters just disappeared from this roster. And you expect Jameis Winston to redeem it all. Go back to preschool.
What has always sucked: GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO well if it isn’t my old friend Louisiana, where there’s always a pot to piss in and ALWAYS a window to throw it out of. You people have always deserved an obnoxious failure of a team and you’re about to get one. If I were you, I’d get those bags back over your heads right away. At least that way, Jameis won’t see your face and try to fuck it.
This city’s greatest cultural event is called Jazzfest and the headliner every year is like Cage the Elephant. All the cool neighborhoods in NOLA are now comprised exclusively of Airbnb listings.
Ratto says: Alvin Kamara is working with NASCAR as a growth and engagement advisor. No, we don’t know that means, but if he can do it between plays this fall, it will show you what NASCAR thinks of growth and engagement. Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston are fighting for a job most people think neither can do. BEST NAME TO HEAR ON TV: As is typical with a Louisiana-based teams, several options, including Tanoh Kpassagnon, Blake Gillikin, Calvin Throckmorton and our personal favorite, Lil’Jordan Humphrey.
What might not suck: If you guys need Alvin Kamara to snowboard three yards for a first down, he’s got you covered.
HEAR IT FROM SAINTS FANS!
Super sweet that two of our players picked right before this season as their date to experiment with either PEDs or orthopedic surgery. Can’t wait to bet my friends whether it’s gonna be a Taysom Hill designed run for .5 or a Jameis toss into Smoothie King Center.
No matter what anybody says, Taysom Hill is trash.
Gayle Benson sold naming rights to the Superdome to a company actively competing against the football team for New Orleanians’ entertainment dollars.
We all got to gather around for a send off season in which it was apparent by Week 4 that Brees didn’t have it anymore.
The Saints are now in such a dire QB situation that I find myself legitimately hoping we can trade for Gardner fucking Minshew.
This team is going to suck for at least 10 years.
Our coach was once photographed multiple times in an Affliction shirt. For the life of me, I cannot find one online, but I know they exist.
And I’ll never forget.
Half the already porous defense left in free agency. It’s July and Mike Thomas is hurt. Our #2 corner gets punched in the face more often than he gets interceptions. Our starting QB is a weird immature moron and occasional rapist, and also about as accurate as a Predator Drone strike during the Obama administration. Even if they’re somehow good this year (they won’t be), we get to witness his unearned redemptive arc.
I’d rather get fucking stabbed than watch this team this year. Oh! Fuck Jared Cook!
I’ve been lucky enough to not really remember pre-Brees Saints teams. I definitely watched Aaron Brooks lose in the playoffs as an elementary schooler, but I can’t say I know much more than that. So this year is going to be a shock to the system. Switching from Brees to Jamsom is going to be… a lot.
But even beyond that, lean years are coming fast, and it’s all because we convinced ourselves that every year would be Brees’ last so we had to go all out. Little did we know that we’d show the entire league how to circumvent the cap in a way that somehow lets the Bucs bring back their entire starting line-up for another round. And currently, I’m not entirely sure who exactly will be playing in Week 1. Not Michael Thomas. Or Marshon Lattimore. Or Deonte Harris. Or David Onyemata. Hell, Sean might take it off too, because why the hell not.
Four straight division titles, and we get a brain fart of epic portions by Marcus Williams in Minnesota, a brain fart of epic portions by the refs in New Orleans, a playoff loss to Kirk fucking Cousins AT HOME, and the Bucs stomping the living shit out of Drew to put him out of his misery in front of an empty and eerily sterile Superdome (I mean just listen to this old man cry out for Kamara on this duck).
We blew the best stretch of seasons this franchise will most likely ever have, and now we are going to watch either Utah Tebow or Jameis lead us out the tunnel. Sean’s fucking smirk is going to be a hell of a lot more annoying when we go 7-10 the next three seasons before he’s fired for Coach O.
I would love to tell you that the reason I’m finally giving up the Saints this season is because I think Jameis Winston is reprehensible, which is true. But I also cheered for this same team that, over the past 12 years, employed a serial sexual predator at safety, devised a bounty scheme, and went waaaaaay out of their lane to help the Catholic Church cover up child abuse scandals before deciding to pick up Crablegs Mc”Alleged”Rapist last summer. You really couldn’t come up with a more sociopathic TV villain than the Saints brain trust if you tried.
No, I won’t be watching this team this year because they are going to suck in the post-Brees era. So instead, I’ll get to bask in the schadenfreude of Winston being terrible and 80% of Saints Twitter whining about how “no one wants him to win” as though they have no recollection of how self-righteous we all were when he played for the supposedly more morally bankrupt Bucs.
Speaking of, shout out to the plurality of delusional Saints fans dead-certain that Winston is going to be an upgrade over the 2020 corpse of Drew Brees when they just watched Tampa go from missing the playoffs every single year that Mr. 30-INT started to beating the Chiefs in the Super Bowl by 22 points in just one season.
Saints fans are about to become even more insufferable, if that’s even possible. New this year: even more whining that “Brees is the GOAT!!!!1!1!!” despite a worst-case final game in the Dome against the actual GOAT, more armchair analysis from swamp dudes who immediately switched from complaining “Brees can’t throw downfield!” to “We’ll never win without Brees!”, and our quarterback will either be a W-eating chump who is also an interception machine (and all-around predator!), or a Swiss-army fumble machine.
I am the insufferable fan who will never stop talking about Drew Brees. That’s what it is to be from New Orleans: it’s an objectively weird, scary, and doomed place that I can’t shut up about.
Also, “slant boy” sounds like a horrible slur and immediately causes our WR1 to start punching teammates.
Drew Brees can finally settle down and use NBC to launch his inevitable political career as the Republican US Representative for Louisiana. He’ll flash his Super Bowl ring and bitch about standing for the anthem and his constituents will re-elect him several times over.
Glad I got that off my chest. Anyway, we’re now stuck with either Jamies Winston (my father cannot pronounce this name. Here are some examples: James, Jay-Mees, Jameson, Jay-Mee-us, Jim-us) or Taysom Hill. Winston threw one really good pass in the playoffs and Troy Aikman creamed all over the booth so he’ll probably start. Hill will continue to be the weird hybrid guy and have a loud fanbase calling for him to start because of some racist reasons.
Best case scenario is a 9-7 record and a wild card bid only for Winston to revert back to his glory days and throw bullets to the DBs for pick sixes.
And there I’ll be. On the couch, in my jersey, depressed while Tom Brady and the Bucs go on to win another Super Bowl.
Fuck the Saints. Fuck the refs. Fuck Goodell. Fuck you too Drew and your Vikings.
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