[2017 NFL Preview] New Orleans Saints

We are just days away from the GREAT SOLAR ECLIPSE where we are all going to die once the moon covers the sun.

Before you die though, make sure you get all caught up on THE USB’s NFL PREVIEWS!

Today, we are looking at a team that I picked as my “DARK HORSE” Super Bowl pick a few months back. How do I feel about the New Orleans Saints now that the season is inching closer?

LET’S FIND OUT!!!

LEZZZZZZZZZZZ DOOOOOOOOOOOO DISSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

2017 NFL Preview

 

 

 

Record Last Five Seasons: 7-9 (2012), 11-5 (2013), 7-9 (2014), 7-9 (2015), 7-9 (2016)

Last Playoff Win: 2013 Wild Card vs. Philadelphia

Last Playoff Appearance: 2013 Divisional vs. Seattle

Super Bowl Wins: Super Bowl XLIV

Last Super Bowl Appearance: Super Bowl XLIV vs. Indianapolis

 

The Head Coach:

Sean Payton

Coaching Record: 94-66

Playoff Record: 6-4

Grade: A-

 

2016-17 Team Leaders:

Passing Yards/Touchdowns: Drew Brees (5,208), Drew Brees (37)

Rushing Yards/Touchdowns: Mark Ingram (1,043), Mark Ingram (6)

Receiving Yards/Touchdowns: Brandin Cooks (1,173), Michael Thomas (9)

Tackles: Craig Robertson (115)

Interceptions: Jairus Byrd/Kenny Vaccaro/Sterling Moore (2)

 

2017 Projected Starters:

Grade Key:

  • ELITE
  • GREAT
  • GOOD
  • NOT GOOD
  • ROOKIE
  • HORRIBLE

Offense:

QB: Drew Brees

RB: Mark Ingram

FB: John Kuhn

WR: Michael Thomas

WR: Ted Ginn

TE: Coby Fleener

LT: Ryan Ramcyzk

RT: Zach Strief

RG: Larry Warford

LG: Andrus Peat

OC: Senio Kelemete

Defense:

DE: Cameron Jordan

DE: Alex Okafor

DT: Sheldon Rankins

DT: Tyeler Davison

LB: A.J. Klein

LB: Stephone Anthony

LB: Craig Robertson

CB: Marshon Lattimore

CB: P.J. Williams

FS: Vonn Bell

SS: Kenny Vaccaro

 

The Schedule:

vs. @ Minnesota Vikings (September 11)

vs. New England Patriots (September 17)

vs. @ Carolina Panthers (September 24)

vs. @ Miami Dolphins (October 1)

BYE WEEK

vs. Detroit Lions (October 15)

vs. @ Green Bay Packers (October 22)

vs. Chicago Bears (October 29)

vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (November 5)

vs. @ Buffalo Bills (November 12)

vs. Washington Redskins (November 19)

vs. @ Los Angeles Rams (November 26)

vs. Carolina Panthers (December 3)

vs. @ Atlanta Falcons (December 7)

vs. New York Jets (December 17)

vs. Atlanta Falcons (December 24)

vs. @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (December 31)

 

Three Things I Like About The Saints This Season:

-Drew Brees: Drew Brees is definitely getting up their in the age department, but the guy is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Just last year he threw for over 5,000 yards and I fully expect him to do it again. With the emergence of wide receiver Michael Thomas, the addition od Ted Ginn in the off-season, and Willie Snead, Brees isn’t lacking weapons in the passing department. That’s one of the reasons the Saints were fine with trading Brandin Cooks to the Patriots in the off-season. Michael Thomas is the real deal and people are about to know his name this season. Drew Brees is going to feed everyone the ball and he’s one of the main reasons I have the Saints as a potential playoff team this year.

-Sean Payton: I was absolutely bewildered by the rumors that the Saints were looking to part ways with Sean Payton. I mean, NFL organizations do dumb things all the time, but the Saints letting Sean Payton go would have taken the cake in my opinion. The guy is an elite NFL head coach. Rob Ryan was just on the Colin Cowherd show last week and said that Bill Belichick was by far the best coach in the NFL. He did say that there’s one guy who he would almost put up on the same level as Belichick and that guy was Payton. He’s won a Super Bowl before and he can do it again.

-My “REAL DARK HORSE” Super Bowl Team: A few months ago I wrote a column breaking down which dark horse NFL team’s odds to win the Super Bowl that I liked the most. After all, the Atlanta Falcons had extremely long odds to make it to the big game last year and they achieved it. Would there be a team that could do that this season and which team would they be? After some long scientific research I landed on the New Orleans Saints. They were my pick then and they are my pick now. Outside of all the favorite teams in the NFL, the Saints are a team that I really like to potentially shock everyone and make the Super Bowl this year.

 

Three Things I Hate About The Saints This Season:

-The Defense: Let’s not beat around the bush here people. The New Orleans Saints have had a terrible defense for the last few years now and I’m not sure it looks like it’s going to get any better anytime soon. Outside of Cameron Jordan, Alex Okafor, and Kenny Vaccaro, the Saints don’t have a player on their defense that I would consider a good NFL player. There is some hope on the horizon with rookies Vonn Bell and Marshon Lattimore. They will hopefully provide a much needed spark for this defense because the Saints are going to need it.

-Adrian Peterson: There are a lot of Saints fans who are excited to see what Adrian Peterson can bring to the team this year. I’m here to tell you guys to pump the brakes on the Peterson hype train. There’s a reason the Minnesota Vikings were perfectly content with letting Peterson walk this off-season. The guy is done as far as being an effective NFL player is concerned. He’s over 30 years old. He’s coming off an injury. And when he hit free agency this past off-season, there were ZERO teams interested in him until the Saints swooped in and offered him a contract. Mark Ingram is a better player and Peterson will likely be a fine back-up for him. If you’re expecting Peterson to come into New Orleans and just light it up, you’re going to be highly disappointed.

-NFC South: The Saints play in what I think is one of the toughest divisions in football right now. The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a Super Bowl appearance and it wouldn’t shock me at all to see them get back to the big game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the popular picks this off-season to make the playoffs. A lot of people expect the Bucs to finally take that next step. And then there’s the Carolina Panthers. Carolina is another team who just recently made a Super Bowl appearance and if the dominoes fall in the right place, they could easily get back to the big game. Four teams in the NFC South and all have a legit claim that they could be Super Bowl contenders this year.

 

The Prediction:

9-7

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