How Good are the New Orleans Saints?
The Saints have won 8 games in a row! The Saints are sitting pretty at 8-2, only one less win then the highly proclaimed Eagles. Are the Saints Super Bowl Contenders, or are they just another hyped team about to crash?
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Who have the Saints Won and Lost against?
The Saints lost their first two games of the season. The first game was against the Minnesota Vikings, who won the game by ten points. The Vikings are a good team, but some would say even better than because of the “Then-not-injured Dalvin Cook”. Then the Saints went on to play against an angry Patriots team who had just suffered a lost to the Chiefs, and they 36-20. Not a good start for the Saints. At this time, the run game was not good, Adrian Peterson was looking like a complete waste of time, and money for the Saints at this point.
Then things started to change when the Saints beat their division rival, the Carolina Panthers, 34-13. Then the Saints have won the next 7 games against the Dolphins, Lions, Packers, Bears, Buccaneers, Bills, and Redskins. Now the teams may not look like hard competition. The Bills have lost a few in a row, the Buccaneers do not look anywhere near what expected, the Packers were Rodger-less, the Bears are the Bears, the Redskins are the Redskins, the Dolphins have no one at quarterback, and the Lions have been majorly inconsistent this season. However, when you beat 6 out of these 8 teams by AT LEAST a two possession lead (9 points or higher), then you are not only “Beating” these teams…They are decimating these teams. So it is not only who they have beat, but also by how much they have won.
In past years, I have made fun of the Saints defense. Actually, let me rephrase that…I made fun of the Saints for not having a defense. Now that has all changed, Sports Reaction Nation. The Saints are getting it done. Here are some of their stats:
- Saints Def. is ranked 9th in Points Allowed.
- In Yards per Game, the Saints rank 13th.
- The Saints defense is in the top ten LEAST penalized Defenses.
- In 6 of the last 8 games, the Saints allowed less than 20 points to opponents.
Am I saying this defense is the best of the best, better than the Broncos, or Seahawks? No way (although Seattle might be in trouble), but the Saints have been playing solid defense, and even better in their last 8 games. This Saints defense is hovering around the top ten, which is what a lot of teams wish they were at on defense. Maybe not top 5, but they are definitely top ten worthy.
This is where the Saints are their strongest. In the past, why even two months ago I was talking about how one-dimensional this Saints Offense was. They always depended on Drew Brees slinging the ball, (which is why he has had so many 5,000 yard seasons), and they could never run the ball well. Now that has changed, look at these stats.
- The Saints are ranked 2nd in Passing Yards per Game.
- They also are ranked 3rd in Rushing Yards per Game.
- In Total YPG, the Saints are first.
- In Points For, the Saints are third (around 30 PPG).
The Saints not only are one of the best when it comes to throwing the ball (which they have been for awhile) now they have running backs who are averaging above 5 yards per carry, and one is on pace for over 1,200 rushing yards to end the season. Drew Brees is on pace for a mid 4,000 passing yard season, which is by no means shabby. This is arguably the best offense in the league, and have won games by running the ball, passing the ball, doing both, or simply by defense. This team is prepared to win by any means.
So where are the Saints Going, moving Forward
The Saints have to play the Falcons twice, the Panthers and the Rams (plus Bucs, and jets). If they can at least split the series with the Falcons, and beat either the Panthers or Rams (both would be nice, but at least one of them), then this team would be set. My projection for the Saints are 12-4, with 13-3 being the best outcome that is sort of reasonable, and 11-5 being the worst outcome, as I see it. Either way, this team is going into the playoffs, and has their sights set on a Super Bowl, and it is not that ridiculous to think that it is within grasp for the New Orleans Saints.
But what do you think, Sports Reaction Nation? Comment below your predictions for the New Orleans Saints, and if you liked this article, hit the star button, and remember, be the best sports fan you can possibly be, and do WLYF.