The New Orleans Saints won their first Super Bowl in February 2010 thanks to superb quarterback play from Drew Brees, gutsy calls from head coach Sean Payton, and a talented roster. The two twin forces of Brees & Payton have been exceptional for the Saints, but it wasn't until 2017 and a huge draft haul, that the quality of the team became strong enough to truly compete for a Super Bowl again.
Unfortunately for the Saints, the football gods have not been on their side. Their 2017 season came to an end in Minnesota in the Divisional Round thanks to the Minneapolis Miracle by Stefon Diggs. In 2018 they went one step further, to the NFC Championship Game, and were at home against the Los Angeles Rams with the game in hand when a terrible no-call stopped them from putting the game away. They eventually lost in overtime.
The Saints have retained the core of their team for the 2019 season, and in Madden 20 you have the chance to finally deliver a Lombardi Trophy to this talented team and their passionate fans. Madden 20 has promised an overhaul of their ratings system to provide a bigger spread of OVR and a more tangible feel between the 92 OVR player and 91 OVR player. This exciting change is likely to cause a change in a lot of ratings from Madden 19.
RealSport looks at how the Saints key players could be rated on Madden 20.
Drew Brees, Quarterback (93 OVR)
Drew Brees has long been an assassin in the pocket. He is the career leader in passes completed, completion percentage, and passing yards, and by the end of 2019 he should take the lead in touchdowns too. In 2018 Brees set a new single season record for completion percentage at 74.4, threw 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. In Madden 20 his best assets should be remarkable accuracy, good throw power, and superb play under pressure.
Alvin Kamara, Running Back (91 OVR)
Alvin Kamara was a third-round pick in 2017 for the Saints but quickly established himself as a dynamic and deadly threat in the NFL. As a rookie he was an astonishing player, averaging 6.1 yards per carry on the ground and 10.2 yards per reception, he totaled 1,554 yards from scrimmage and scored 13 touchdowns. While NFL defenses were more ready for him in 2018 he still put up 1,592 yards from scrimmage and scored 18 times.
In Madden 20 Kamara will be an explosive player and a nightmare to try and handle in coverage. He had elite receiving skills in Madden 19 and there is no reason to think he will be any less than brilliant in Madden 20.
Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver (89 OVR)
Speaking of elite receiving skills, Michael Thomas has been burning up secondaries since he arrived in New Orleans as a second-round pick in 2016. Thomas led the NFL in receptions last year with 125 as he put up 1,405 yards and 9 touchdowns in the dynamic Saints offense. In Madden 20 Thomas' insane catching ability and crisp route running should stand out.
The Saints offensive line has long been a strength in the Payton-Brees era despite a turnover in personnel. The Saints are returning all 5 of their starters from 2018 which is good for the real life team and for Madden 20 as they were all very solid. Left tackle Terron Armstead (87 OVR) will likely be the star of the line, with right tackle Ryan Ramczyk (85 OVR) the quality bookend to help keep Drew Brees secure in the pocket. Center Max Unger (78 OVR) has been a good player for a while now but is starting to age out of the top end OVR spots. The two guard slots will be filled by Larry Warford (81 OVR) and Andrus Peat (73 OVR) who is likely the weak link in the chain but still an ok starter.
Cameron Jordan, Defensive End (92 OVR)
The star on the Saints defense has long been Cameron Jordan. A first-round pick in 2011, he took some time to become a star pass rusher but once he got there it was spectacular. In 2017 Jordan was a First Team All-Pro with 13 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, and he continued that strong production in 2018 with 12 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. Jordan is likely to be one of the best edge rushers in Madden 20.
Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback (87 OVR)
The Saints took Marshon Lattimore in the first round in 2017 and were immediately rewarded with quality cornerback play. He claimed the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year along with a Pro Bowl spot thanks to his 5 interceptions and strong play against some of the best wide receivers around. In 2018 Lattimore dipped slightly but he was still terrific and forced 4 fumbles along with 2 interceptions. His speed and ability to play man coverage will be his strengths in Madden 20.
Demario Davis, Outside Linebacker (84 OVR)
The Saints linebackers haven't been great over the last few years, but in 2018 Demario Davis turned up from New York and played very well to help solidify that part of the field. He made 110 tackles along with 5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss last season. Now at age 30 he should see a slight dip on OVR but still be a very useful part of the Saints defense.
New Orleans Saints Roster Prediction
The Saints roster is loaded. Not only do they have a terrific trio in Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas but also a strong offensive line and defensive stars. Around that core of elite talent players like Latavius Murray (74 OVR), Dez Bryant (78 OVR), and Jared Cook (88 OVR) all provide more targets and offensive threats.
Defensively players like Sheldon Rankins (81 OVR) and Malcom Brown (78 OVR) are good run defenders up front and second-year player Marcus Davenport (79 OVR) will help generate pressure on the quarterback while Marcus Williams (81 OVR) and Patrick Robinson (78 OVR) can control the game in the secondary.
The Saints closed out Madden 19 with a team rating of 85 OVR and have not had many big signings or losses in the offseason, so they should be in the 84-86 OVR range when Madden 20 hits the shelves.