As the season winds down, it is time to review the performance of each position group as we head into season 4 of Premier Madden League. The New Orleans Saints began the season with a rocky 1-4 start with sub par play on both sides of the ball. As the season rolled along, they were able to find their groove and steal a playoff spot by finishing the season regular season 9-7. After a first round exit in the playoffs to the Minnesota Vikings (12-4), the Saints find themselves needing to add impact players to the roster. Let’s get started.
Quarterback : C-
Though cutting his interceptions in half from his rookie campaign, Saints quarterback Trey Lance failed to throw more touchdowns than interceptions. Though Lance held a solid 70 percent completion percentage, he sometimes looked indecisive on throws and certainly cost his team a couple games and was even benched periodically throughout the season. Lance will have to continue to improve heading into a pivotal third season
Runningback : A+
The Saints were fourth in the league in rushing this past season even with superstar running back Alvin Kamara missing significant time with a rib injury. Backups Trey Sermon (8 TDs) and Benny Snell were more than capable backups, with each logging 100+ yard game throughout the season. Kamara bounced back after injury to rush for more than 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns. Runningback will not be a position of issue heading into the offseason
The receivers did all they could do considering the sporadic quarterback play throughout the season. Headlining the group was Michael Thomas with 56 catches, 1,013 yards and 8 touchdowns. Rookie David Bell solidified his role as WR2 with 28 catches, 449 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Saints will be looking to add a playmaker to the WR room, but will have a solid foundation to build on
Tight End: B
Though arguably the least talented group on the roster the tight ends were solid thoughout the season in pass catching and especially run blocking. Leading the way was tight end Allen Lazard with 45 catches, 521 yards, and 2 touchdowns. With expiring contracts for Manhertz and Eifert. Tight end will be a position of need as the Saints fill out their roster in the offseason
Offensive Line: A+
The backbone of the offense, the monstrous offensive line lead by superstar tackles Armstead and Ramczyk did not disappoint. They created holes all season and were more than capable in the passing game, giving up only seven sacks on the season combined. Depth pieces will be the only pressing need for the Saints offensive line
Defensive Line: C+
While the defensive line did not pass the stat test this past season (13 sacks ), they were extremely solid against the run and disruptive in the passing game without accumulating many sacks. Ageless wonder Cameron Jordan led they way with 8 sacks and 4 TFLs. Heading into next season, rookies Mase Funa and Brenton Cox Jr will have to find a way to be more productive
Linebacker : B+
Linebacker play improved after a rough start to the season. Superstar duo Shane Lee and Alex Anzalone combined for 160+ tackles , 19 TFL and 5 interceptions. Combined with extremely consistent play from backups out line backing core should only improve as we head into season 4.
Defensive Back: A-
Arguably the best unit on the team, the Saints secondary was extremely opportunistic racking up 33 interceptions as a unit. Led by tandem safeties Marcus Williams and Chauncey Gardner Johnson, the secondary also stuck their nose in the run game as the Saints ran nickel packages the majority of the season. The Saints will be looking for a game changing secondary defender in the offseason to pair alongside Marshon Lattimore ( 7 INT).
Overall : B
While solid overall, the Saints lacked a true impact superstar on both sides of the ball. Developing Trey Lance and adding or developing a disruptive pass rusher will be key to the success moving forward.