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There are still some big things at stake for the Saints in 2022

After a bye this week, the New Orleans Saints are back in action in Week 15 at home against the Atlanta Falcons. With the team all but eliminated from the playoffs, there’s little to gain in the win-loss column.

Some players and coaches could fight for their future in New Orleans. Hopefully the team will play proud too. At 4-9, they will be looking to avoid their first double-digit loss season since the 2005 Hurricane Katrina tragedy. Before that, the Saints last had double-digit losses in 1999.

There are also some individual franchise records at stake. It would be small consolation in a lost season, but here are a few Saints players who could move to the top of the franchise record books in the last four games of the year.

Chris Olav

-Rookie receiving yards

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) is chased by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Zyon McCollum (27). Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans traded twice to draft Olave with 11th overall pick from Ohio State. The investment was profitable. Olave leads the Saints with 60 receptions for 887 yards.

His performance is even more impressive when you consider that the offensive has been without WR Michael Thomas since Week 3, Jarvis Landry has declined noticeably and nobody else at the position has produced consistently.

Olave is just 250 yards from the franchise record for receiving yards from a rookie. The record is held by Michael Thomas, who had 1,137 yards in 2016.

A standout distance runner with excellent speed and reliable hands, Olave has been a consistent producer all season. He had at least 40 yards in every game, three 100-yard forays, and five others of at least 60 yards. At his current pace, Olave will finish his rookie year with 1,159 yards.

Alvin Kamara

-Career rushing touchdowns

-Career total touchdowns

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) vs Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Divine Deablo (5). Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Kamara has been key to the Saints offense since arriving as a rookie in 2017. He leads the team this season with 550 rushing yards and is second with 51 receptions for 433 yards.

The NFL’s most dangerous all-purpose defenseman, Kamara averaged 848 yards on the ground and 75 catches for another 653 in his first five seasons. He also has a nose for the end zone, scoring 48 goals on the ground, 22 more as a receiver and once as a kickoff returner.

After just six years, Kamara has the opportunity to take franchise leadership in two main categories. He is four rushing scores behind RB Mark Ingram’s 52 touchdowns for the team’s all-time lead. Kamara’s 71 total touchdowns is just one short of WR Marques Colston’s 72 points for the franchise’s top spot in that category.

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Alvin Kamara has not had a good year. He’s on track for the lowest rushing total since his rookie year. His reception numbers are higher than his career low in 2021, but nowhere near where he is performing. Amazingly, Kamara has only reached the end zone three times this season.

Cameron Jordan

– Career Sacks

Nov 7, 2021; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is being pressured by New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94). Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY

Jordan has been a staple of the franchise since arriving as Cal’s first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s reached seven Pro Bowls, has six seasons with double-digit sack totals, and has always been an excellent run defender.

Its statistical performance was slightly down in 2022, but Jordan still had a strong year. He has 5.5 sacks but leads the defense with 12 pressings and 9 tackles for loss.

Jordan’s 112.5 career sacks are the 30th-highest official total in NFL history and the second-highest among all active players. It also has him on the heels of a franchise legend.

Linebacker Rickey Jackson was the franchise’s first Hall of Famer. Jackson played for the Saints from 1981 to 1993 and was a key member of the Dome Patrol linebacking corps before retiring from the 49ers. He had 115 official sacks in his last 12 years with New Orleans (Jackson had 8 in his rookie year of 1981, before sacks were recognized as an official stat by the NFL).

Cam Jordan is one of the greatest players in the history of the Saints franchise. He’s a potential Hall of Famer on the verge of surpassing the longest career record in team history.

Saints versus hawks

-Eternal series

Saints DT Shy Tuttle stiff-arms Falcons QB Matt Ryan after an interception during a game in 2019. Credit:

New Orleans and Atlanta have been at war with each other throughout the Saints’ entire existence of 56 years. They have played each other twice per season since 1970 in one of the NFL’s most heated rivalries.

The Falcons hold a slim 54-53 lead in the series. They also have a 27-26 record against the Saints in New Orleans, where those teams meet in Week 15. However, New Orleans significantly closed the gap when Sean Payton took over as head coach in 2006.

Since 2006, the Saints have been 23-10 against the Falcons. They’ve won 5 of their last 6 encounters and 8 of 10 against their bitter opponents, including a historic 27-26 comeback in the 4th quarter in Atlanta to open this season.

New Orleans may not have anything to play for as a team. However, a Week 15 win over a hated rival would salvage a little Pride, even the all-time series, and effectively put an end to Atlanta’s low postseason hopes.