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Kristian: Can Payton and Brees recreate another great run after NO CALL?

Kristian Garic
January 24, 2019 - 4:12 pm
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The better part of 96 hours Saints fans have grown angrier by the minute about the “no call” in the NFC Championship game that cost the Saints a Super Bowl berth. Not only did the call change history and the legacies of Sean Payton and Drew Brees, the question remains, can the coach and QB recreate another great run? “It’s just so damn hard to get to that spot; you have to wonder if the Saints can ever do it again. It’s not automatic,” shouted the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert on our ride to Biloxi for Sports Talk.

After you eventually get over or at least move on from the “no call,” you will begin to look at some of the questions facing the team this off-season. Brees is now 40 years old, the clock is ticking and time might have run out on the Saints and Brees to win another championship. I hope I am wrong. “I think the Saints will be a double digit win team next year, and a playoff team. But what does that really mean? You can’t just assume the Saints will be right back there again next season,” added Hebert.

Let’s look at some of the obstacles the Saints will have to clear this off-season in order to make another run at it.

  • Find a replacement for RB Mark Ingram. Ingram is scheduled to become a free agent in March and I’m not sure the Saints will bring him back.
  • Find a tight end. The Saints haven’t had a true threat at the position since the team traded Jimmy Graham.
  • Sheldon Rankins rehab from a torn Achilles. Rankins was a big part of the Saints defense in 2018 and he suffered a season ending Achilles injury in the divisional playoff match up against the Eagles.
  • The Hangover: You’ve heard of the Super Bowl hangover, but there is a real possibility the “no call” will produce a bit of a hangover for the Saints in 2019. Sean Payton even said, “I don’t know if we’ll ever get over it.”
  • The Saints have to find another offensive weapon at WR. Michael Thomas had a sensational season, but when the Saints offense ran up against the better defenses in the league, some teams were able to take Thomas away through double teams. The Saints need to have an answer for that next season.
  • Aside from DE Marcus Davenport the 2018 draft class had zero production. Tre’Quan Smith had one big game and disappeared for a vast majority of the season.
  • Recoup some draft picks: The Saints don’t have a 1st or 3rd round pick after trading up last year in the draft for Davenport and trading for QB Teddy Bridgewater before the start of the season. The Saints have to find a way to acquire some picks. One possible way the Saints could fetch an early pick would be to trade guard Andrus Peat.

All in all, the Saints have a lot to overcome, not to mention a few breaks and staying healthy at key positions next year. Was the “no call” the last great run under Brees and Payton? We’ll find out in September.

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