Look No Further Than Their 6 Pro Bowl Selections For Some Clarity On The Success Of The Saints' Season
Perhaps it's that going on a 10-2 run after starting off the season in hauntingly similar fashion has made me greedy, but my first thought after seeing that a half dozen Saints were selected to the Pro Bowl was that it wasn't enough. Admittedly, I don't particular care about who is rostered for a meaningless game in which the most successful teams won't even be participating. However, when you have a 38 year old pocket passer, his first passing option, and both running backs all on said roster then you should probably open up a spot for at least one of the five players that have excelled in opening up opportunities for them. Popularity contests don't win playoff games so it's hardly something to dwell on, but the O-line selections weren't only offensive by position.
Anyway, on to the those whose play was deemed worthy of a hopefully-soon-to-be-refused spot in the Pro Bowl...
Two rookies, two running backs, two defensive players, and somehow the biggest surprise is that a Saints' wide receiver has finally been acknowledged for his efforts. Seriously, it's Michael Thomas having what should have been a foregone conclusion prove fortuitous that has me the most dumbstruck of all the selections. I know he's reached rarified air in becoming just the second wideout ever to snag 90+ passes in both of his first two seasons, but considering the way Marques Colston was all-but-ignored throughout the entirety of his illustrious career? It was starting to feel like his successor was going to have to add to his totals by catching someone outside and showing them those hands in person.
Between Drew Brees sipping from the fountain of youth between handoffs, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara putting up unparalleled numbers and becoming the first duo to get voted in together in 42 years, Marshon Lattimore transitioning to the pros more fluidly than his hips in dominating at the most difficult of position, and Cam Jordan triple-doubling down on his case for Defensive Player Of The Year, there's no shortage of seemingly outrageous storylines to pursue. Unfortunately, other than Michael Thomas representing the one position that's gone over a decade without getting it's due in an offense that dominates annually, they have all been discussed ad nauseam.
The Saints have been making history this year, but they've been doing so in such a consistent fashion that them reaping the rewards from said achievements already seems like old news. So the best thing I can say about this team isn't that their top players got picked to go on vacation and sleepwalk through a football game that no one is watching, but rather that every single one of them gave the voters no goddamn choice. All that's left now is to see them keep up that peerless performance through January so that they are too busy celebrating a Conference Championship to care about some selection to a gimmicky All Star Game.