On defense, end Cam Jordan had a career-high 15.5 sacks, 1.5 short of tying the team's single-season record. And with 87 career sacks, he now sits second on the franchise all-time list behind Rickey Jackson's 115.
Linebacker Demario Davis continued his stellar play, leading the Saints in tackles (111) for the second straight year, and adding four sacks, an interception and 12 passes defensed. And safety Vonn Bellcompiled his best NFL season despite missing three games with a knee injury: five fumble recoveries (second-highest single-season total in franchise history), two forced fumbles, an interception, five passes defensed, 1.5 sacks and 89 tackles.
The Saints' defense held four opponents – Dallas, Jacksonville, Arizona and Indianapolis – to 10 points or less and finished 11th in total defense (331.1 yards per game allowed) and 13th in scoring defense (21.3 points allowed).
Davis was named first-team All-Pro, the first time he's been named to the team, and Jordan (second-team) became a three-time All-Pro. Jordan and cornerback Marshon Lattimore are Pro Bowlers.
On special teams, it was an elite season. Four players – Hill, defensive back J.T. Gray, fullback Zach Line and running back Dwayne Washington – blocked or deflected a punt.
Kicker Wil Lutz made walk-off game-winning field goals against Houston (30-28) and Carolina (34-31), kicked four field goals in victories over Dallas (12-10) and Atlanta (26-18), and made 32 field goals (a franchise single-season record) in 36 attempts.
Rookie returner Deonte Harris arguably was the steal of the NFL's 2019 rookie class. Harris, undrafted, won the job as the Saints' returner and took back a punt 53 yards for a touchdown against Seattle in a road victory, the first score of the first game the Saints played without Brees. Harris returned 36 punts for 338 yards – both league-leading numbers – and 24 kickoffs for 644 yards.
Harris and Gray, who was an undrafted rookie in 2018, were named All-Pro, and Harris and Lutz are Pro Bowlers.
And Harris was a prominent member of the Saints' formidable rookie class. Second-round pick Erik McCoy started at center and played all but six offensive snaps, fourth-round pick C.J. Gardner-Johnson was an immediate fit in the secondary and started several games at safety, and undrafted tackle Shy Tuttle played his way onto the 53-man roster and into the rotation from the beginning of the season.
The Saints didn't make a Super Bowl run, and an impressive run through the regular season won't nullify that. But New Orleans posted success stories in many other areas through the season, individually and collectively.