Key Arrivals: Malcom Brown, Jared Cook, Nick Easton, Mario Edwards Jr., Latavius Murray, Marcus Sherels, Kiko Alonso Erik McCoy, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Saquan Hampton, Alize Mack, Kaden Elliss
Key Returns: Teddy Bridgewater, Craig Robertson, P.J. Williams
Key Departures: Mark Ingram, Max Unger, Alex Okafor, Tyeler Davison, Ben Watson, Cameron Meredith
|Week 1||Sept. 9th 7:10 PM ET||vs. Houston Texans (ESPN)|
|Week 2||Sept. 15th 4:25 PM ET||@ Los Angeles Rams (FOX)|
|Week 3||Sept. 22nd 4:25 PM ET||@ Seattle Seahawks (CBS)|
|Week 4||Sept. 29th 7:20 PM ET||vs. Dallas Cowboys (NBC)|
|Week 5||Oct. 6th 1:00 PM ET||vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX)|
|Week 6||Oct. 13th 1:00 PM ET||@ Jacksonville Jaguars (CBS)|
|Week 7||Oct. 20th 4:25 PM ET||@ Chicago Bears (FOX)|
|Week 8||Oct. 27th 1:00 PM ET||vs. Arizona Cardinals (CBS)|
|Week 9||Bye Week|
|Week 10||Nov. 10th 1:00 PM ET||vs. Atlanta Falcons (FOX)|
|Week 11||Nov. 17th 1:00 PM ET||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX)|
|Week 12||Nov. 24th 1:00 PM ET||vs. Carolina Panthers (FOX)|
|Week 13||Nov. 28th 8:20 PM ET||@ Atlanta Falcons (NBC)|
|Week 14||Dec. 8th 1:00 PM ET||vs. San Francisco 49ers (FOX)|
|Week 15||Dec. 16th 8:15 PM ET||vs. Indianapolis Colts (ESPN)|
|Week 16||Dec. 22nd 1:00 PM ET||@ Tennessee Titans (FOX)|
|Week 17||Dec. 29th 1:00 PM ET||vs. Carolina Panthers (FOX)|
The 2018 campaign for the Saints ended in heartbreak against the Rams in the NFC Championship game. The fallout from that game revolved more around a no-call on a pass interference penalty the refs didn’t call against the Rams.
The offseason saw the departure of Mark Ingram via free agency as well as center Max Unger to retirement. The Saints will look to rookie Erik McCoy and Nick Easton, acquired via free agency from Minnesota to fill Unger’s shoes as well as Latavius Murray to fill Mark Ingram’s role on the team. The offense will continue to be high powered behind the trio of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas. With Ted Ginn Jr, Tre’Quan Smith, Murray, and Taysom Hill all providing this high powered offense numerous options as they take on their 2019 schedule. The offensive line will be the key to allow Brees and company to continue their pace as a top 10 unit (8th last year in total offense).
Defensively, the unit returns its starters and added Kaden Elliss as well as Kiko Alonso to its linebacker group. Elliss drafted in the late rounds of the 2019 NFL draft and Alonso acquired shortly before week one of the season via a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Although acquired right before the season was set to start, Alonso is coming off a season where he led Miami with 125 tackles. The Saints will look for the same level of contribution from him as he gets familiar with the Saints scheme. The coaching staff has done a great job creating a solid defense and will look to recapture the form they had when the unit finished second in defense (2015). Cameron Jordan will look to continue his standout play on the defensive line and they will look to have 2017 first-round pick Marcus Davenport continue to make strides and be the compliment/bookend to Jordan.
The schedule is certainly going to have its share of difficulties. Right from the start, the Saints open as the early game on Monday night against a suddenly retooled Texans team. Also in week two, they have their rematch (and potential playoff matchup) with the Rams, finishing off the first month of the season against Seattle and Dallas respectively. Also, a matchup week seven against the Bears will be a matchup to keep an eye on. That being said, there is no reason to think the chants of “Who Dat” will not be heard all over the bayou and well into the playoffs as the Saints are among the favorites to come out of the NFC and advance to the Super Bowl.