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By: Mike Anthony     Date: Oct 28, 2020
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Emmanuel Sanders has ran through the gambit of NFL teams - having played for Pittsburgh, Denver, and San Fran previously through his 11 year career. Sanders was young when playing for Pittsburgh, then when he was ready to hit his stride, he was gone. He was shining for Denver with 3 seasons of 1000+ YDs, and where 64% of his career TD catches were corralled. Then when the Niners grabbed Sanders - in 2019 - I thought it was a great signing, and he produced very well. Now, lined up with the Saints and Drew Brees - this could be his swan song, of sorts.

I think we know Sanders can still play, even at age 33, but there are still a handful of questions that need to be addressed. From where does he actually stand in the lineup to his dedication level to the team? There are some problems going on with the Saints franchise, and this problem is mostly positioning in the lineup, with Micheal Thomas and his serious attitude problems. In Thomas, we are talking about a guy who has been outstanding at the WR position for years - as he is averaging a career 7 catches and 86 receiving YDs /game. Sanders' numbers as a WR won’t scream at many like Thomas' numbers do - but an interesting reveal shows Sanders' incredible impact on the WR end for the Saints. With 3 games of 55+ YDs receiving and a 72% catch rate, makes New Orleans a better team. Sanders reminds us why he’s been a sneaky good WR for 5 of his years played - problem with Emmanuel - is that he never has proven he can make the big plays in the crunch.

Drew Brees hunts for weaker defenders on the field, and in crunch time of a bigtime playoff game, New Orleans will always lean on the style they know and have been using for many years of success. When DBs get stuck defending Thomas alone , Sanders will be able to exploit weaker secondary defenders. Sanders is playing in the NFC South division - where there has been no clear favorite so far. Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Carolina are all flawed in their own way, whether its confidence, injuries, or lack of defense. If New Orleans ends up playing in the playoffs, they will boast a lot of weaponry for usage.

If Sanders needs some motivation, he needs to seriously consider the potential to reach the postseason, which is very real. He may have the opportunity to play for big things at the end of the year - and with Drew Brees, who is always great for team chemistry in the locker room with his experience and great leadership, it is always a great possibility. In my opinion, I believe that apart from the positioning on the team, he fits in with New Orleans and he will be very valuable this season. His ability to catch the ball, and 61 YDs /game has been just as good as other top WRs this year - Sanders can make plays pretty much off anything Drew Brees throws at him by creating space with his speed. The Saints don't need to design a playbook with Emmanuel Sanders as the focal point - just get him a couple looks and he will be just fine.

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