Each day I wake up and I think about 5 Questions. There’s only five of them, so you have to be very careful what we ask for. With that in mind, we got to speak (write?) with Canal Street Chronicles, who seem to know a whole lot about the New Orleans Saints. I wonder how that came to be?
1. Is Drew Brees immortal?
Saints fans can only hope so, right? Drew Brees seems to be spitting in the face of Father Time with each passing Touchdown. But the drop-off has to come eventually, so it's just a matter of "when" not "if." Peyton Manning fell off a cliff in his age 39 season before retirement, but even in his age 38 season you could see his stats noticeable drop. Drew is now playing in his age 38 season. Peyton, though, was only a couple of years removed from a devastating neck injury that might have played a role in his departure from the NFL. Saints fans have the luxury of looking at Tom Brady, who is a full year and a half older than Brees. Brady is playing in his age 40 season as we speak and doesn't look to be slowing down just yet. The workout and eating regiments that these top QBs put their bodies through is ridiculous, and each year that Brady plays well gives hope for Brees to have success the following the year.
2. The Saints recently traded Adrian Peterson away. Where does this leave the Saints backfield at this time?
In a sense, it leaves the Saints backfield exactly where it was before Peterson was traded, hence the need for the trade. Adrian Peterson is the through-the-trenches running back and the guy who should get the bulk of goal-line carries. Alvin Kamara seems to be groomed as the premier back of the future in New Orleans, but really sees the field mostly on passing downs. Think of it like Mark Ingram is our Ameer Abdullah and Alvin Kamara is our Theo Riddick. Like Abdullah, Mark Ingram's role in the passing game is vastly underrated, though, and he's still able to pop off a big catch or screen for a nice gain.
3. What's the strongest element of this Saints defense right now?
Granted, the last two weeks the Saints played an injured Cam Newton and the Ghost of Broadcasting Future in Jay Cutler, but the Saints' cornerback group has really shined once Ken Crawley was injected into the starting lineup. 2017 first-round pick Marshon Lattimore has graded as one of the top CBs in the NFL through the season's first quarter - not *rookie* Corners, *ALL* Corners. PJ Williams and Ken Crawley have been solid the last two weeks, each picking up an interception. It's a young and inexperienced group, but as the season goes on, they seem to be gaining confidence with each snap under their belt.
4. We're recently dealing with at least one particular player where fans seem to have bent every ill in his direction due to his flailing performance. Is there a Saints player that you can think of that is a "goat" with the fanbase at this time? Is it fairly warranted or unjustified?
For better or worse, Adrian Peterson was an easy person to look to as a reason the offense wasn't firing on all cylinders early in the season, but now he's been (mercifully) traded. Winning does a lot for fanbase morale, so the fact that the Saints have had two impressive wins the last two weeks has kind of removed the need for "goat" to blame. In the first two weeks, Adrian Peterson and CB De'Vante Harris (benched for the aforementioned Crawley) usually got the majority of the criticism, and rightly so for the latter. But even still, the Saints have had other external factors to point to if they need an excuse for poor performance: injuries to the offensive line (losing both Terron Armstead and Zach Strief), the suspension of WR Willie Snead, and now the season-ending injury to LB Alex Anzalone. With Armstead and Snead returning sooner rather than later (hopefully as soon as this Sunday vs the Lions), it'll be interesting to see if fans continue to make excuses if or when the bad play by the team resumes.
5. How much longer do you see Sean Payton in New Orleans? It's been a hell of a run but each year it seems there's a few people who are holding their breath waiting for the shoe to drop.
Just win, baby. If the Saints go at least 9-7 and are in the hunt for a postseason berth, then I think Sean Payton sticks around. If the Saints end up with another 7-9 season, and the losing record wasn't the result of an injury to a major player like Brees or Michael Thomas, then I wouldn't be shocked to see Payton - and probably Drew Brees - somewhere else in 2018.