New Orleans Saints (11-5 SU, 7-9 ATS, 2nd Place in NFC South)
The New Orleans Saints were hoping to follow up their Super Bowl victory with another great run in the NFC South. Unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to beat out the Atlanta Falcons for the top spot in the division, and that sent them on the road in the first round of the playoffs. Their loss to the Seattle Seahawks was definitely an unexpected one, but it was a harsh reminder that there is still definitely a lot of work to be done for this team to stay atop the heap in the league.
The offense definitely can drop points in bunches on the opposition. New Orleans accounted for 372.5 yards per game last season, which was down from two years ago. QB Drew Brees is clearly one of the top signal callers in the game, and he had another 4,300+ yard season, his fifth in a row since joining the Saints.
What’s scary about the New Orleans offense is that there really isn’t a heck of a lot of “name talent” on this unit aside from Brees. WRs Marques Colston is nice, but names like Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, and Devery Henderson just aren’t all that scary. Even less scary is the talent at running back. Thanks to a slew of injuries, Head Coach Sean Peyton had to use Chris Ivory, Pierre Thomas, Julius Jones, Ladell Betts, and Reggie Bush in the backfield. Bush is gone now, but in comes RB Mark Ingram, a rookie from the University of Alabama.
The defense really might have been the strong point for the Saints last season, and that might have to be the crucial point for this year’s team as well. They allowed just 306.2 yards per game, and the end result was 19.2 points per game, seventh in the league.
For New Orleans to succeed this season, it is going to have to overcome a horribly hard division and an even tougher out of conference schedule. Maintaining home field advantage against teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, things that haven’t happened in the last two seasons, is paramount. However, it’s hard to forecast anything but another playoff campaign for the black and gold this year.
2011 New Orleans Saints Predictions: 11-5, 2nd Place NFC South
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.