5 Saints to watch in Week 5 vs. Washington

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The New Orleans Saints may no longer have Drew Brees on the roster, but head coach Sean Payton remains. That means the Saints will always field a capable and potentially dangerous offense.

This season’s New Orleans squad hasn’t exactly resembled some of those previously explosive teams led by Brees. Jameis Winston is the starting quarterback while Payton still sprinkles in some Taysom Hill.

That’s not to say this offense isn’t good; it just hasn’t hit its stride yet. The Saints will also be without two starting offensive linemen on Sunday, and star wideout Michael Thomas still has yet to return.

Here are five Saints to watch in Sunday’s Week 5 game at Washington:

QB Jameis Winston

Sep 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws a pass against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Winston had a record-breaking Week 1 performance against the Packers when he passed for five touchdowns, despite only throwing for 148 yards. It was a historic performance from Winston. Many expected Winston to be putting up 300 yards per week, but his highest output thus far is 226 yards. Don’t blame Winston. Payton has seemingly brought Winston along slowly in the offense, relying more on the running game.

Payton watched the film. He’ll be throwing the football on Sunday. That could mean a big day for Winston.

RB Alvin Kamara

Saints RB (41) Alvin Kamara celebrates with teammates after diving for a fourth quarter touchdown. The New Orleans Saints hosted the the Green Bay Packers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL Sunday, September 12, 2021 after the Saint’s home game had to be move from New Orleans after Hurricane Ida hit the Louisiana coast. The Saints went into the half with a 17 to 3 lead over the Packers.
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Even when Brees was still under center, the Saints’ offense ran through Kamara. He’s not only one of the best running backs in the NFL; he’s one of the best offensive players in the league. Washington will see plenty of Kamara on Sunday. Kamara is so good because he’s equally dynamic in the passing game as in the running game. How Washington defends Kamara will likely determine its fate on Sunday.

WR Marquez Callaway

Sep 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway (1) catches a touchdown against New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of hype around young wide receiver Marquez Callaway this summer. Through four games, Callaway hasn’t exactly broken out, but he is coming off his best two games. At some point, he will have that game. Washington has struggled to defend even average wide receivers this season. Callaway could have a career performance on Sunday.

DE Cameron Jordan

Sep 12, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) runs onto the field during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan has been one of the best defenders in the NFL for the past decade. But the Saints were known more for their offense, meaning Jordan hasn’t always gotten the credit he deserves. At 32, Jordan is still an elite player. He should see plenty of rookie Sam Cosmi on Sunday.

CB Marshon Lattimore

Jan 3, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) reacts after making an interception in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Marshon Lattimore has been a star since the moment he arrived in the NFL. He was paid like a star this year, too. Lattimore is a top corner who often locks down the opposition’s top receiver. He doesn’t just stick with receivers, he makes plays on the ball. Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke must be careful with Lattimore on Sunday.

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