6 Saints That Will Return With a VENGEANCE in 2017

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Oct 4, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha (44) during the fourth quarter of a game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Cowboys 26-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

For the New Orleans Saints in 2016, with the end of the year and their season now just 3 days away; we know that the mathematical possibilities for them to make the NFL Playoffs, are officially over.

Sunday’s game against the despised Atlanta Falcons will be their final game of the 2016 season. If the Saints defeat the Falcons, they will finish their year 8-8, and on a three game winning streak.

Despite missing the postseason for the third consecutive year under coach Sean Payton (the first time they’ve missed making the Playoffs this many years in a row since he became head coach), the team has actually surpassed a few of the expectations of any number of preseason predictions and prognostications.

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A number of Saints players and position groups have made significant progress during the course of the season, causing many to believe that this is a team on the rise and perhaps even positioned for another title run before a certain QB named Drew Brees decides to call it a career.

The Big Easy Believer will cover the progress made in 2016 by individual players — and by the entire team in general — in our series of 2016 season re-cap articles (Final Season Grades, Year-End Player Awards, etc.) next week following the Atlanta game.

Today, we will focus on six New Orleans players who perhaps are looking forward to the calendar turning from 2016 into 2017.

The following “forgotten Saints” have had a rough year, mostly due to injury, and were unable to make much of a contribution to the fate of the 2016 New Orleans Saints.

But — we think they will return with a “vengeance” in 2017.

Starting first, with this guy…..