Sando: Don’t sleep on Drew Brees and the Saints

People are “overlooking” Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, Mike Sando says, which could make them pretty dangerous in the playoffs

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
January 07, 2021 - 10:38 am
Drew Brees Saints

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The New Orleans Saints have suffered heartbreaking playoff losses three years in a row in three different rounds.

They lost on Stefon Diggs’ Minneapolis Miracle in the divisional round in January 2018; they lost in overtime to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship in January 2019, this after officials missed a blatant pass interference near the end of regulation. And, they lost in overtime, again to the Vikings, in the Wild Card round in January 2020.

Throw in Drew Brees breaking his ribs and missing four games this season, and the Saints, despite being the 2-seed in the NFC, enter the playoffs with considerably less fanfare than in recent years.

Which could make them pretty dangerous.

“I think we’re kind of overlooking the Saints here,” The Athletic senior NFL writer Mike Sando said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The Saints are good defensively, and offensively, I think we have this feeling that it’s nearing the end for Brees and all that. But that’s a really good team. I wouldn’t sleep on them.”

The Saints finished fifth in the league in both scoring offense (30.1 points per game) and scoring defense (21.1 points allowed per game). They were the only team to finish top five in both.

New Orleans has won 10 of its last 12 games, with both losses – to the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs – coming by a field goal. 

The Saints host the Chicago Bears (8-8) this Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET.

“I think with Sean Payton and Brees and all those guys, let’s not forget that they could rise up,” Sando said.

In the AFC, meanwhile, Sando does not think NFL fans should sleep on the Indianapolis Colts (11-5), who play the Bills (13-3) in Buffalo this Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET.

“I think the Colts have been pretty good all year,” Sando said. “Slipped a little bit, but that’s a really great matchup against the Bills. I think we’re all loving on Buffalo – and rightfully so. They’re probably the team that can score enough points to challenge Kansas City. But the Colts are just sort of laying in the weeds a little bit, and no one’s talking about them too much. They do have a good defense, a good defensive front.”