Bleacher Report has identified Michael Thomas as the New Orleans Saints X-factor in 2023. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox describes an X-factor as a player who can “make or break how a team’s campaign unfolds,” or someone whose “successes or struggles will greatly impact the team’s fortunes this year.”
And their pick was Thomas. Here’s what Knox had to say about No. 13:
“Thomas was once, unquestionably, an elite wide receiver. Over his first four years in the league, he amassed 470 receptions, three Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pro selections while leading the NFL in receptions twice.
However, injuries began to derail Thomas’ career in 2020, and he has compiled a mere 609 receiving yards over the past three years. He is seeking a resurgent season, and the offseason reports have been encouraging.”
Thomas has the ability to elevate this passing game to a different level is able to come back and play well. He won’t be asked to be as dominant as he was before injury. At that time, he was carrying the receiving corps. Now he is joined by Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, along with Juwan Johnson at tight end.
He wouldn’t break the Saints if he didn’t perform well, but his success would elevate the passing game. He will be a key factor in the red zone and in the middle of the field. For the first time in a while, Thomas will be a part of a unit. He will be the X-factor that determines just how high that unit can go.