2. Will the team find a complementary receiver to Michael Thomas?
It finally came back to bite them in the playoffs, when many fans worried that it would. Michael Thomas set the single-season record in receptions in a season for two reasons: he catches just about everything that is thrown his way and he was targeted a lot without much help in the receiving corps.
Ted Ginn Jr. is old and is not the same receiver that he was a few years agao and Tre’Quan Smith did not add much production. Deonte Harris was great in the special teams unit, but was not a big target in the offense.
The team does have Alvin Kamara/Latavius Murray and Jared Cook, which are all respectable targets, but the team still desperately needed that over-the-top receiver that could make things happen when the defense puts emphasis on Thomas.
We saw this in this game as Brees was not targetting many other pass-catchers until the second half and that is when Jared Cook and co. started to get some things going.
The team was able to make it work all season long and they can afford to do that with a Hall of Fame quarterback and some options in Hill, Kamara and Cook, but the lack of a second receiver still hurt the team.
Ginn caught just one of two targets for 18 yards and Harris did catch his one target for 50 yards but that was off of the Taysom Hill “trick” passing play.
The Saints do not need another Pro Bowl receiver but they need someone who can stretch the field as a deep option. The team can hope to target a D.K. Metcalf-like rookie in the draft or sign a cheaper free-agent receiver, such as Breshad Perriman, who averaged 17.9 yards on 36 receptions.