Ever since Drew Brees and Sean Payton teamed up in New Orleans, the Saints have gone from also-ran to contender. They have a record of 112-79 from 2006 to the start of this season, along with the franchises first Super Bowl to cap the 2009 season. Last year the Saints were a force, turning a strong draft class into a brilliant defense and a deadly offense. The likes of Marcus Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, Alvin Kamara, and Marcus Williams became immediate starters and added to the brilliance of Brees, Michael Thomas, and Cameron Jordan. The Saints went 11-5 and won the NFC South, only be knocked out of the playoffs by one of the most spectacular last-second touchdowns ever by Minnesota.
*All stats correct at time of writing
The New Orleans Saints have a very good overall rating of 84. Only the Eagles, Rams, and Steelers have a better OVR. They are an extremely well-balanced team, with an 87 score on both offense and defense. The Saints have stars littered across the field and have done a great job at improving the defense over the last year or two and bringing it up to the standard of the offense. They are one of the best teams to use online given the quality of both units and the variety of offensive weapons they have.
Cameron Jordan, Defensive End (OVR 94)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract: 3 years/$30.02m
2018 Cap Hit: $8.31m
Best Stats: Strength (91), Power Moves (93), Block Shedding (92), Play Recognition (97), Tackle (89)
The Saints selected Cameron Jordan in the first-round in 2011 and have been rewarded with three Pro Bowl seasons, one First Team All Pro performance and 61.5 sacks. The Saints have run through a lot of defensive coordinators in Jordan’s career, and a lot of different schemes. Through all of that, Jordan has been productive and destructive. He racked up 13 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 28 QB hits last season to make his first All-Pro appearance.
Drew Brees, Quarterback (OVR 94)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 2 years/$36.5m
2018 Cap Hit: $18m
Best Stats: Throw Power (89), Short Accuracy (99), Medium Accuracy (93), Throw Under Pressure (97), Play Action (97)
Drew Brees arrived in New Orleans as a free agent with shoulder issues in 2006 and proceeded to become perhaps the most productive passer of his generation. Brees is the only quarterback with multiple 5,000-yard seasons, and he has broken that mark four times. He’s racked up over 58,000 yards for the Saints and thrown 413 touchdowns to date for them. At the time of writing Brees is just 814 yards away from overtaking Peyton Manning for the most passing yards in NFL history.
Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver (OVR 93)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 2 years/$2.7m
2018 Cap Hit: $1.2m
Best Stats: Speed (89), Catching (97), Spectacular Catch (93), Catching In Traffic (91), Short Route (96), Medium Route (93), Jumping (90)
Michael Thomas has been wildly productive ever since he arrived in New Orleans as a second-round pick in 2016. In his rookie year he made 92 catches for 1,137 yards and scored nine touchdowns. He followed that up with a 104 catches in 2017 for 1,245 yards and five scores. Thomas’ size and speed make him threatening, but he has terrific route running for such a young player and is already among the best receivers in the NFL.
Alvin Kamara, Running Back (OVR 89)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 3 years/$2.95m
2018 Cap Hit: $900k
Best Stats: Speed (89), Agility (93), Juke Move (93), Elusiveness (90), Carrying (86), Catching (74), Short Route (83)
The Saints took Alvin Kamara in the third round of the 2017 draft and it very quickly proved to be a steal. Kamara came in and was the perfect compliment to Mark Ingram. He saw 100 targets, making 81 catches for 826 yards and five touchdowns, but his talents weren’t limited to being the receiving option. Kamara also saw 120 carries and picked up 728 yards and eight touchdowns, giving him an insane average of 6.1 yards per carry and 9.5 yards per touch.
Depth Chart & Full Roster
|QB||OVR||Speed||Throw Power||Short Accuracy||Medium Accuracy||Deep Accuracy||Throw Under Pressure||Play Action|
|Mark Ingram II||86||88||88||77||87||90||72|
|FB||OVR||Speed||Strength||Carrying||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|WR||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Catching In Traffic||Spectacular Catch||Release||Jumping|
|Ted Ginn Jr||82||93||93||85||83||85||87||78||83||75||87|
|TE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Run Block|
|OL||OVR||Speed||Strength||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|DE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Strength||Block Shedding||Finesse Moves||Power Moves|
|DT||OVR||Speed||Strength||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding||Impact Block|
|OLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|MLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|CB||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage||Press|
|FS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|SS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Tackle||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|K||OVR||Kick Power||Kick Accuracy|
|P||OVR||Kick Power||Kick Accuracy|
The Saints roster is deep and has few holes. Aside from the obvious talents of Drew Brees (89 throw power, 99 short accuracy) at quarterback, the offense is very strong. Michael Thomas (97 catching, 96 short route) headlines a good receiving corps where the talents of Cameron Meredith (90 jumping, 88 catching) and tight end Benjamin Watson (89 catching, 79 short route) can shine. The running back duo of Alvin Kamara (89 speed, 90 elusiveness) and Mark Ingram II (88 speed, 89 trucking) are deadly on the ground, and obviously Kamara can help in the passing game. The offensive line is solid too, headlined by the bookend tackles of Terron Armstead (87 pass block, 80 run block) and Ryan Ramczyk (86 pass block, 86 run block).
Defensively the Saints are pretty strong. Cameron Jordan (93 power moves, 92 block shedding) is their best player, and supported on the offensive line by Alex Okafor (85 power moves, 81 play recognition) and Tyeler Davison (91 strength, 84 block shedding). The secondary is led by Marshon Lattimore (87 man coverage, 86 zone coverage) who is fast and beautifully balanced in his coverage skills. Marcus Williams (82 play recognition, 80 zone coverage) offers nice production at free safety too. The Saints linebackers are not brilliant, but you can minimize their impact by using nickel sub packages regularly and making the most of the two solid strong safeties Kurt Coleman (82 play recognition, 82 catching) and Vonn Bell (75 zone coverage, 74 hit power).
New Orleans Saints Playbook – Offense
I Form – Close
I Form – H Pro
I Form – Pro
I Form – Slot Flex
I Form – Tight
Weak I – Close Flex
Weak I – Pro
Weak I – Slot Flex
Weak I – Wing
Singleback – Ace
Singleback – Ace Pair
Singleback – Bunch Base
Singleback – Dice Slot
Singleback – Tight Slots
Singleback – Wing Flex
Singleback – Wing Pair
Singleback – Wing Stack
Singleback – Wing Tight
Singleback – Y Trio
Pistol – Bunch TE
Shotgun – Bunch
Shotgun – Double Y Flex Off Wk
Shotgun – Doubles Offset
Shotgun – Eagle H Tight
Shotgun – Eagle H-Slot
Shotgun – Empty Trey
Shotgun – Flex Y Off Wk
Shotgun – Split Offset
Shotgun – Stack Y-Flex
Shotgun – Tight Offset TE
Shotgun – Trey Open
Shotgun – Trey Y-Flex
Shotgun – Y Off Trio Wk
The Saints playbook is extremely well balanced. It has a lot of I formation sets between the standard I Form and Weak I that can give you good opportunities to pound the ball and then hit play action passes over the top of aggressive linebackers. It also has a really nice Pistol Bunch set and a lot of flex and weak shotgun formations that can force defenses to declare their coverage pre-snap. This is an offensive playbook designed to keep defenses guessing and provide a lot of big play opportunities.
New Orleans Saints Playbook – Defense
4-3 Over Plus
4-3 Wide 9
46 Bear Under
Nickel Wide 9
Nickel Double A Gap
Big Nickel Over G
Quarter 3 Deep
Goal Line Defense 5-3-3
Goal Line Defense 5-4-2
The Saints defensive playbook is a pretty unexceptional 4-3 defense. It does have some nice sub packages, with the Dollar 3-2-6 providing plenty of coverage and edge blitz potential. The 46 Bear Under front is a nice change up look that can penetrate in short yardage. The Big Nickel Over G is always a strong package to use as well.
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