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NFL power rankings countdown to training camp: New Orleans Saints, No. 16

The 2021 NFL training camp is just around the corner. We break down the top 32 teams. Today, we look at the New Orleans Saints who rank No. 16 in our preseason power rankings.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 New Orleans Saints were an above-average team and won their division last season, but it’s going to be a whole new story this year as the Drew Brees era is over and they’ll be looking for a new signal-caller to take the reins down in NoLa

2020 record

12-4, 1st place in NFC South

2020 defense

Points: 20.9 points per game, rank 3rd
Yards: 5 yards per play, rank 4th
Football Outsiders Ranking: 2nd

2020 offense

Points: 29,1 points per game, rank 5th
Yards: 6,023 yards per play, rank 12th
Football Outsiders Ranking: 7th

2021 DraftKings Sportsbook odds

Super Bowl: +2800
AFC/NFC Champion:+1300
Win Total: 9 (Over -105, Under -117)

Offseason moves

The biggest thing that happened to New Orleans was future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees retired. So for the first time in a long time, they’ll need to find somebody new under center heading into the season. New Orleans had to drastically shed some salary cap weight as well heading into the new season, letting a lot of players walk in free agency. They weren’t able to go out and get any big-name targets in free agency because they have under $6 million in cap room now.

Still, they were able to restructure some deals so they could hang on to a few players who nearly went elsewhere.

Biggest question entering training camp

The obvious answer here is quarterback. After 15 seasons under center, Brees is gone. The competition in training camp is probably going to be a two-man race between former first-round pick Jameis Winston and head coach Sean Payton’s special project Taysom Hill.

Still, neither has been forced to be a full-time quarterback in over a year and when they have been the results were less than consistent. The team also drafted Notre Dame QB Ian Book in the 6th round, but it’s doubtful he factors in right away.

What needs to happen for the Saints to win the Super Bowl?

The Saints' defense remains solid and the offense has key players around it to make it succeed. Still, one of the QBs, Winston or Hill, is going to have to take the next step in their development in order for New Orleans to have any chance to make it to the Super Bowl.

I mean, they couldn’t do it with Brees so it’s unlikely they’ll be able to do it with either of these guys.

2021 Outlook

This should still be a solid team, but their playoff woes in recent years will probably rear their ugly head again this season if they make it that far.