The New Orleans Saints have been on an unprecedented run of team success over the last four years that is the best in franchise history.
New Orleans has a 49-15 record over those four seasons, the best in the NFL. During that time they have won four consecutive NFC South titles, the most in franchise history.
The Saints have been so successful because of a talented core of players, most of whom have been together during this entire four-year stretch.
Some of these players have compiled statistics to climb up the franchise's all-time leader list in several categories.
Here is a list of New Orleans franchise records that could be broken in the 2021 season.
CAREER TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS
Record = 72, Marques Colston (2006-2015)
Alvin Kamara = 59
Running back Alvin Kamara is second on the franchise's total touchdown list with 59 rushing, receiving, and return scores after only four seasons.
Colston forged together a magnificent career after entering the league as a seventh-round choice by the Saints out of Hofstra in the 2006 NFL Draft.
The franchise's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yardage, and total touchdowns accumulated his statistics over a ten-year career. Colston was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2019.
Kamara led the NFL with a franchise record of 21 total touchdowns last season. An all-purpose nightmare for opposing defenses to contain, he has scored 14, 18, 6, and 21 touchdowns successively in his short career.
With 14 scores in 2021, he will overtake Colston as the franchise's all-time leader in total touchdowns.
CAREER RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS
Record = 50, Mark Ingram (2011-2018)
Alvin Kamara = 43
Alvin Kamara currently sits in third place on the team's career rushing touchdowns list with 43, just six scores behind Deuce McAllister for second place and seven behind Ingram for the all-time lead.
Ingram and McAllister both achieved their totals in eight NFL seasons. McAllister, who was inducted into the franchise Hall of Fame in 2012, missed most of two seasons with serious knee injuries.
Kamara, who is entering his fifth NFL season, is coming off a franchise-record 16 rushing touchdowns in 2020. He was also second in the league with 14 scores on the ground in 2018, an impressive encore to his 8 rushing touchdowns as a rookie in 2017.
CAREER RECEPTIONS BY A RUNNING BACK
Record = 327, Pierre Thomas (2007-2014)
Alvin Kamara = 326
Kamara is a lethal receiver not only out of the backfield but also when split out wide or out of the slot. He’s averaged 706 yards receiving per year and had no less than 81 receptions in each of his four seasons.
Thomas was a master on screen passes throughout his eight-year New Orleans career. A 2018 inductee into the Saints Hall of Fame, Thomas was one of the best all-purpose players in franchise history.
Kamara overtook Thomas as the franchise's all-time leader in receiving yards by a running back in 2020. He’ll need just two catches to pass him as the leader in receptions.
If he equals his career receiving averages, Kamara would move into fifth place on the team's all-time receptions list and 11th place in receiving yardage.
Record = 115, Rickey Jackson (1981-1993)
Cameron Jordan = 94.5
This one is a stretch, but now that a 17th regular-season game has been added for each team it may be more realistic than you think.
Defensive end Cam Jordan is one of the NFL's best pass rushers. He leads a New Orleans defense that has sacked opposing quarterbacks 145 times over the last three seasons.
Rickey Jackson is an NFL Hall of Famer and one of the best defensive players of his era. He is considered the second-best player in franchise history, behind only quarterback, Drew Brees.
The league didn't start tracking individual sacks until 1982, but Jackson was one of the most feared players of his time.
Jordan is currently in second place on the franchise's all-time sack list. He has double-digit sack totals in four of his ten seasons, including a career-high 15.5 in 2019.
The 32-year-old Jordan is coming off a down year by his lofty standards, but a strong rebound could give him a run at the legendary Jackson's franchise mark.
Those are some of the attainable career records in New Orleans franchise history for 2021. Here are a few other players who will move significantly up the charts with a standout performance.
Record = 711, Marques Colston (2006-2015)
Michael Thomas = 510 (4th place)
Thomas had 92, 104, 125, and an NFL-record 149 receptions his first four years in the NFL, respectively. Injuries limited him to only seven games and 40 catches in 2020, but the New Orleans passing attack will revolve around his elite skills again this year.
Even with the injury-plagued campaign in 2020, Thomas has averaged 102 receptions over his five seasons. Even an average year would vault him past Joe Horn (523 receptions) and Eric Martin (532) into second place behind only Colston for the team's all-time leader in receptions.
CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Record = 9,759, Marques Colston
Michael Thomas = 5,950 (4th place)
Along with breaking the NFL single-season reception record in 2019, Thomas also led the league and set the franchise's all-time record for receiving yards in a season with 1,725. It broke his previous single-season team record of 1,405 yards set in 2018.
Thomas also eclipsing 1,000 yards receiving in both of his first two NFL seasons. Even with his usually gaudy numbers, he is out of reach to match Eric Martin's second-place total of 7,854 yards. However, with 1,643 yards receiving, Thomas would surpass Joe Horn (7,622 yards) for third place on this list.
CAREER FIELD GOALS MADE
Record = 302, Morten Andersen (1982-1994)
Wil Lutz = 142 (3rd place)
Lutz already has the highest field goal percentage in franchise history (minimum = 25 attempts) by converting 86.6% of his attempts.
Despite a down year when he converted a career-low 82.1% of his tries, Lutz was still successful on 23 field goal attempts. His long-range and accuracy make the Saints a consistent scoring threat from just inside midfield.
Now entering his sixth year, Lutz has successfully converted at least 28 field goal attempts five times. He’s still a far cry from NFL Hall of Famer Morten Andersen and his 302 field goals. However, with 27 successful kicks in 2021, Lutz would tie John Carney for the second-most field goals in franchise history.
CAREER EXTRA POINTS
Record = 412, Morten Andersen (1982-1994)
Wil Lutz = 253 (3rd place)
Morten Andersen is one of the greatest kickers in NFL history and one of only two full-time kickers to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wil Lutz is one of the best at the position today but has a long way to go to match Andersen's longevity.
Lutz has been a reliable weapon for coach Sean Payton and his productive New Orleans offense. He’s averaged 50 extra points during his five-year career, missing only seven attempts.
With 12 successful extra points in 2021, Lutz will supplant John Carney for second place on the franchise's all-time list in this category.
Record = 1,318, Morten Andersen (1982-1994)
Wil Lutz = 679 (3rd place)
Sensing a theme here? Again, it will take many more years of productivity for Lutz to supplant Andersen. The 27-year-old kicker has averaged 136 points per year for the explosive New Orleans attack.
With 90 points this season, Lutz will move past Carney into second place on the team's all-time scoring list.
CAREER RUSHING YARDS
Record = 6,096, Deuce McAllister (2001-2008)
Alvin Kamara = 3,340 (8th place)
For all he’s achieved in a short four-year career, Alvin Kamara has yet to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in a season. He set his career-best with 932 rushing yards last year.
With a 17th regular-season game added and uncertainty around the quarterback position with the offseason retirement of Drew Brees, it's hard to imagine Kamara not rushing for at least 1,000 yards if healthy.
Kamara averaged a career-high 62 yards rushing per game in 2020. Projected out for a full 17-game season would equal 1,054 yards on the ground.
If he hits that mark, it will vault him past Chuck Muncie (3,393 yards), Rueben Mayes (3,408), Pierre Thomas (3,745), Dalton Hilliard (4,164), and George Rogers (4,267) into 3rd party on the team's all-time rushing yardage list behind only Mark Ingram (6,007 yards) and McAllister.
Follow Bob Rose on Facebook or Twitter @bobbyr2613.
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