NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints 2017 draft is legendary for delivering the Saints 6 starting players, including the offensive and defensive rookies of the year, but we should also give some love to the Saints 2011 draft. In 2011 the Saints drafted Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram in the first round, Ingram is the Saints all-time leading rushing leader and Jordan is 8 sacks away from being the team's all-time sacks leader.
That's pretty special.
Cam Jordan has had at least 7.5 sacks every year since 2012. His consistency is so long and so steady we just pencil it in, "Cam will get 7-10 sacks. Lock it in." A guy doing that well into his 30s is ridiculous. He has 35.5 sacks since turning 30!
Most importantly Cam Jordan hates the Atlanta Falcons as much as the fans do. The man has enjoyed sacking Matt Ryan as much as New Orleanians enjoy po-boys, a cafe au lait, and Mardi Gras. It's probably my favorite thing about Cam and there's so much to love about him.
While Jordan has only played for the Saints, his podcast co-host, and fellow 2011 draftee Mark Ingram left the Saints after 2018, but returned via trade in 2021. Love for Ingram might be a little low right now after his crucial fumble against Tampa but his 6349 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns are both tops in Saints history.
Ingram, when he's been healthy since returning to the Saints, has been pretty good and he's run well to start 2022. He just needs to stop fumbling. I need at least 1 more huge Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara game so they can have 1 of their hilarious post game dual celebration interviews. Boom and Zoom from 2018 was so much fun. I need that back in my life.
So while drafts like 2017 only seem to come around once in forever, don't forget drafts like the Saints had in 2011, where the team got their best defensive end in Saints history and the all-time leading rusher, are just as unique.
Saints Mood and Meditation Music: I Ain't Worried -- One Republic
The entire football world told us Jameis Winston would always be an inconsistent mess and isn't ever going to lead a team to anything. Saints fans got behind Jameis, cause he's our quarterback, and that's what we do.
Last week Winston's critics got to chirp and say '"I told you so." It's early though and as this One Republic song says...
"No stressing, just obsessin' with sealin' the deal
I'll take it in and let it go"
Jameis has 4 broken bones in his back plus a hurt ankle and looked awful against the Bucs...but it's too early to worry. Right?
Last Week: 2-3
Carolina (+3) vs New Orleans: Did you know Matt Rhule is 1-25 as Panthers head coach when Carolina allows 17+ points? That's offensive ineptitude on a scale as grand as the Eiffel Tower.
The Panthers managed just 275 yards of offense against the New York Giants and 49 of that came on 1 play by Christian McCaffrey. 226 yards on the other 53 plays is....WOW.
Did I mention Baker Mayfield only completed 14 of 29 passes last week?
This game might be a wrestling 'Loser Leaves Town' match between Baker and Jameis Winston. One has a career rating of 87.6 and one has a career rating of 87.7. They are the same guy; not quite a bust but both their original teams didn't want them and now they are on their last chance to be a team's long-term answer at quarterback. Jameis and Baker are different houses in the same quarterback subdivision.
The Panthers aren't good but the Saints shouldn't be favored on the road against anyone. I don't trust Jameis and the offense. They've played 5 good minutes of football out of 8 quarters. Jameis Winston needs to show he can function with 4 broken vertebrae in his back before I'm going to believe he can thrive in his current physical state. Matt Rhule is coaching for his job and he will save it in the ugliest, most boring way possible.
Cincinnati at New York Jets (+4.5): The Bengals are poorly coached and only Joe Burrow gets sacked more than James Winston. The Bengals are right back to being the Bengals.
Detroit at Minnesota (-6): The Lions are fun to root for, they also have a defense that gives up 32.5 points-a-game. Justin Jefferson might burn their entire defense to the ground.
Atlanta (+2) at Seattle: The Falcons are pretty good on offense and Seattle feels like the kind of team the Atlanta defense can be not awful against.
Green Bay (+2) at Tampa Bay: Having to root for Aaron Rodgers is icky, but we must do difficult things sometimes.