Buffalo Bills: What to expect from their NFC opponents in 2021
By Aaron Tully
New Orleans Saints
Last meeting: New Orleans Saints won 47-10 (11/12/2017)
The New Orleans Saints are dealing with an uncertainty that they have not had since 2005.
After their Divisional Round loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Drew Brees called it a career. With their franchise quarterback now retired, the Buccaneers have two options at quarterback for 2021.
Taysom Hill is one of their options. Hill is a useful gadget player that gives the Saints’ offense more options than they normally would have. Hill had an okay showing in the four games he started in 2020, completing 72.7 percent of his passes, and throwing only two interceptions.
However, those starts came against Eagles and Falcons teams that were already out of the playoff race, as well as a Broncos team that had to use an emergency quarterback due to Covid-19 issues.
Hill only threw for four touchdowns and 834 yards in his four starts, including a dreadful performance against Denver, where he completed 9 of 16 passes for 78 yards and an interception. Hill’s abilities as a gadget player are exciting, but his underwhelming numbers as a passer should be cause for concern for the 30 year old quarterback.
New Orleans’ other option at quarterback for 2021 is Jameis Winston. The last time Winston started on a regular basis, he became the first member of the infamous 30 touchdown/30 interception club. At times, Winston can play at a great-elite level, but his turnover issues have been too prominent for him to be considered a viable starting option.
The Saints are hoping that changes in 2021. Winston is only 26, so he still has plenty of time to figure things out.
The argument that is commonly made in favor of Winston is that he would be great if he were able to reduce the turnovers. While in theory that obviously makes sense, it takes high quality offensive coaching to do so.
Josh Allen was able to fix his turnover problems by working with Brian Daboll. If Sean Payton can work on the turnovers with Winston, the Saints could extend their seemingly closing window.
The Saints’ defense is one of the better units in the NFL, consisting of high-level players like defensive end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Demario Davis, and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
The Saints have won the last 5 meetings against the Buffalo Bills. The last time Buffalo beat New Orleans was in 1998.
This matchup may be different, however. The Bills are one of the NFL’s best teams, and they certainly will be looking to show out on Thanksgiving night as they did in Dallas just two years ago.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position in New Orleans, expect the Buffalo Bills to walk out of the Super Dome with a win on Thanksgiving.