A new era kicks off this Sunday for the New Orleans Saints. It will be the first time in over 15 years that future Hall of Famer Drew Brees will not be the starting quarterback.
New Saints QB Jameis Winston has big shoes to fill this season and all eyes will be on the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter.
Saints head coach Sean Payton has his work cut out for him in 2021 after losing several starters due to salary cap issues.
Things haven't gotten any easier for the team after Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans last week and forced their first game against the Green Bay Packers to be moved to Jacksonville.
A postseason regular over the past few seasons, the Saints will fail to make the NFC playoffs this campaign.
Why the Saints will fail to make the NFL playoffs
Here are three reasons why New Orleans will miss the postseason in 2021/22:
#1 - Quarterback play
Sean Payton and the Saints' front office are putting a lot of faith in Jameis Winston to lead the team this season.
Winston failed in his first stint as an NFL starter with the Bucs. While he has a cannon for an arm, he was prone to basic errors and did not take care of the ball.
The Saints can't afford turnovers with their weak defense this season and unfortunately for Saints fans that's exactly what Winston will provide.
Backup QB Taysom Hill doesn't offer much more than a mobile runner who has yet to show that he can pass the ball effectively in the NFL.
#2 - Lack of depth
Due to the salary cap dropping due to the pandemic, the New Orleans Saints found themselves needing to dump multiple starting players.
This has left them extremely thin in many positions, especially on defense. They can't afford any injuries, but that's just not realistic in today's NFL.
New Orleans will also start the season without star wide receiver Michael Thomas, who is still recovering from ankle surgery.
#3 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Saints play in the NFC South division, which also features the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New Orleans has ruled the division for several years but that time is over. The Bucs have a team stacked with superstars and are the odds-on favorites to win the NFC again this season.
Chalk up the two divisional matchups as wins for the Buccaneers, which puts immense pressure on the Saints to win their other games in the division.
The 2021/22 season will not be one to remember for Saints fans.