The NFL season is set to begin soon and the New Orleans Saints hope to make another playoff appearance. This franchise enters a new era with quarterback Drew Brees in retirement. For that reason, they’ll have to perform their best to make a postseason push late in the year. Luckily for the Saints, they have some solid talent on the roster.

Even though the Saints won’t be as good as they were last year, their defense should keep them competitive. In fact, the defense is good enough to be one of the best in the league, which bodes well for the Saints’ chances. The defensive unit is in store for a big season, which increases New Orlean’s postseason hopes.

Although Drew Brees is gone, jameis winston takes over as the starting quarterback. He was in a tough position battle throughout training camp, but he’s in line to bounce back in a big way. With Michael Thomas out with injury, a second-year receiver looks to take the league by storm. Meanwhile, Alvin Kamara should have a monster season. With that said, here are four bold predictions for the Saints 2021 season.

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4. Saints defense finishes in the top 10

It’s been a rocky offseason for the Saints, but their defense stacks up with the best of them. With guys like Cameron Jordan, Demario Davis, and Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans has a well-balanced defense. They can get after the quarterback, stuff the run, and defend the pass. The Saints have the tools necessary to be a top 10 defense in the NFL.

Additionally, the Saints have a schedule that puts their defense in a good spot to produce. Most of their games are against teams who are likely to be outside of the top 10 in offensive production. Look for the Saints’ defense to make some noise this year, as it could lead to a possible playoff spot.

3. Jameis Winston wins Comeback Player of the Year

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Jameis Winston was not guaranteed the starting job in New Orleans. He was in stiff competition with Taysom Hill throughout the entire offseason. Winston looked sharp in training camp and the preseason which is how he won the coaching staff over. Now, he finds himself as a starting quarterback once again, playing for an offense that likes to air it out.

Although Michael Thomas won’t be available for the first portion of the season, Jameis Winston has built solid chemistry with the rest of the receiving core. With a decent offensive line and Alvin Kamara in the backfield, Winston has the pieces around him to continue his career as the Saints’ starting quarterback. Keep an eye on New Orleans this year, as Jameis Winston could win the Comeback Player of the Year award.

2. Marquez Callaway proves to be the real deal

Marquez Callaway had a rather quiet rookie season last year but was consistent in his limited opportunities. With the news of Michael Thomas out with injury and Tre’Quan Smith dealing with injuries of his own, an opportunity formed in New Orleans, and Callaway took advantage. He’s been dominating throughout training camp and the preseason while serving as Winston’s favorite pass target.

It’s unknown what will happen once Thomas comes back to the starting lineup, as he’ll be the starting receiver when he’s healthy. However, Winston hasn’t worked with Thomas much, as he’s been building chemistry with Marquez Callaway instead. Even though Thomas is bound to be the top wide receiver on the roster, Winston has (give or take) five games playing with Callaway. Additionally, Thomas isn’t too happy with the organization right now, so there’s a real chance Marquez Callaway becomes the new WR1 in New Orleans.

1. Alvin Kamara leads the league in total scrimmage yards

With how everything is playing out for the Saints, Alvin Kamara is set up to be the driving force of the offense. He’s easily the best player on the team right now and will be heavily involved throughout the course of the season. He runs between the tackles well, has break-away speed, and serves as a solid pass option out of the backfield.

For that reason, Kamara is likely to be the first three options for this Saints team. He provides a glimmer of hope for this organization, as, without him, the offense would be putrid. Keep an eye on Alvin Kamara, as he’s in line to be a top running back in the NFL once again.