Welcome to the best NFL offseason series you'll ever read -- that is, if you're like me, and you want nothing more than the blissful lie that your team will be good in 2019. How Your Team Won Super Bowl 54 will take you through each NFL franchise with one goal in mind: convincing you that there's at least one universe in which Your Team wins it all. I'm Doctor Strange, you're Tony Stark, the Avengers are Your Team, Thanos is...Bill Belichick? I've lost the metaphor.
One thing's for sure:
You'll die in the end. Your Team is going to win Super Bowl 54.
New Orleans Saints
Through incessant whinging
Do you want to know where we currently are on the whole "City of New Orleans takes on the NFL for one missed call by like, two human people in an actual game" thing? I want to make it clear: I'm about to update you on where we are, and it is both wildly disappointing and laughable -- so only go on if you're willing to hate yourself, and all football fans, just a little bit.
One of the many (there are many) lawsuits has gained the ability to compel discovery in their case against the NFL, which means their legal team may get to question Roger Goodell under oath. A big note here: the particular New Orleans fan winning this ruling...is a lawyer.
A Saints fan might get to grill Roger Goodell on the stand about -- and I can't emphasize this enough -- a missed penalty call in a game.
Okay, I should take a step back. I don't mean to minimize a fanbase's suffering, I just want to...I mean, yeah, I want to minimize their suffering, because this is beyond absurd.
Now, I'd imagine most of the players on the team and the coaches on the staff have generally moved on from the travesty of The No-Call, while the fan base still seems rabid. Can you leverage the insult of that error into a large enough chip on your black-and-gold shoulder to power you through a 19-, 20-game season? That may need to be the case for the Saints' Super Bowl win.
Unfortunately, we get Saints-Rams early in the year: Week 2. Were it later, a Saints win could potentially position them for a high NFC seed and give them an extra jolt of "That was revenge for 2018, now we're positioned to win in 2019" media juice. But once the Saints make the playoffs, every game will be riddled with reference to the near Super Bowl berth and the circumstances around it. Perhaps that will be enough for the Saints to guilt trip the Fates -- and the NFL -- into a Super Bowl bid.
Ride the swan song wave
Man, on top of a killer roster, the Saints have so many narratives going their way. On top of the whole "Justice For Tommylee Lewis" bid, it's the final season of Drew Brees' contract, in his age 40 season. Brees' only Super Bowl win is also his only Super Bowl appearance, back in the 2009 season -- and for a player who holds almost every volume record a QB can dream of, as well as an unbelievable completion percentage for all his attempts, it would be said to see Brees go with only one Super Bowl appearance, let alone one win.
Of course, Brees doesn't need to retire after this season, nor do the Saints need to move on from him. He wasn't prime Brees last year, his final season before 40 -- but that's to expect, for a player of his age. He was still one of the most efficient passers in the league, and with the Saints' deep and powerful roster, will be more than enough for 2019 to beat top offenses, and if needed, in years beyond as well.
But given that the Saints will have a contract decision to make at the end of this season, the neatest conclusion -- and, accordingly, one towards which the scales of the universe would conspire -- would be to send Brees off into the sunset on top: with a Super Bowl victory.
Now, does a very similar idea also apply to like, 4 other QBs in the league (including Eli Manning, God be with us all)? Yes. But none of them (save for maybe Rivers) has the supporting cast that Brees does, and they probably aren't as universally respected as Brees is. (If you're in Atlanta and reading this, just skim along, you'll be fine.)
I want Brees to win one far more than I want the Saints faithful to be vindicated in their carping -- but when you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other.
How The New Orleans Saints Won Super Bowl 54
Sheldon Rankins and Jordan Cameron -- no, wait Cameron Jordan. I always get that wrong -- both see double-digit sacks, and Alvin Kamara leads the league in scrimmage yards. (The world is better when Michael Thomas has a reason to argue with people on Twitter, so we can't let him be too productive -- otherwise, nothing to argue about.) Brees goes toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes in the highest-scoring Super Bowl in history (currently 75 points) and the Saints win on a questionable missed DPI call on a Patrick Mahomes walk-off TD throw.
Because I live for chaos.
How many universes does this happen in?
75 out of 1000. The best roster in the league is either Philly's or their's.
How it all goes wrong
The referees conspire to make the Saints go 8-8. They lose both games to the Falcons with a total of 330 penalty yards in the two matches. Louisiana secedes from the Union.