2020 New Orleans Saints Predictions and Season Win Total Picks
This is it. This is the swan song. This is the last go-round. This is the Last Ride of Drew Brees and his Band of Saints.
Unfortunately, if the Saints don’t win a Super Bowl this season, they may be relegated to the sob stories of NFL history. Fran Tarkenton’s Vikings of the 70’s. Jim Kelly’s Bills of the 90’s, Donovan McNabb’s Eagles of the early 00’s. The Saints could be destined to join them as great teams that simply couldn’t get over the hump.
Brees is lucky because he already has his Super Bowl ring, earned back in 2009-10. Because of that, he won’t be lumped in with those other quarterbacks, who never won a title. However, the Saints have been the best team in the NFL over the past three years and have nothing to show for it but three division titles and three heartbreaking playoff losses. This may be the last opportunity for this 53-man group before Brees retires and their title window closes.
New Orleans has the best top-to-bottom roster in the NFL. They have for the last two seasons, and they’ve turned it into a 26-6 regular season record. New Orleans does not have a weakness on either side of the ball, with an elite combination of talent, experience, youth, skill, depth and anything else you could want when you build a team.
Brees is the triggerman for an offense that has finished in the Top 5 in scoring for five straight years and that has been in the Top 10 in both scoring and total yards for 11 of the past 12 years. (In 2010 they were ‘just’ No. 11 in scoring.) The Saints added veteran Emmanuel Sanders to the receiving corps to support All-World wideout Michael Thomas. And top draft pick Cesar Ruiz was bought in to shore up an outstanding offensive line.
The Saints are hoping to be even more explosive with a return to form from Alvin Kamara. Although the Saints star running back made his third straight Pro Bowl last year, every single significant offensive number dropped for Kamara during an injury-plagued season.
Defense used to be a major issue in The Bayou. Not anymore. The Saints have finished in the top half of the league in total defense, and scoring defense, over the past three seasons. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is one of the best assistant coaches in the game and has constructed a deep and physical stop unit.
New Orleans finished No. 4 in the league against the rush and produced the third-most sacks. The Saints benefit from fantastic depth and experience along the defensive line and in the secondary, led by perennial Pro Bowlers Cam Jordan and Marshon Lattimore. If there’s a weakness on the unit, it could be an underwhelming linebacking corps.
The Saints have everything in place. They have the quarterback. They have the high-end skill talent. They have the defense. They have the depth. They have the experience. They have the coaching. They have the motivation. It’s all right there.
There are still impediments to the Saints coronation. There are a lot of statistical indicators that suggest New Orleans will take a step back this season. Turnovers, offensive and defensive efficiency, close wins and injury luck are all numeric arrows pointing down. That they overachieved their Pythagorean Expectations by over two wins last year is also a trouble spot. A tough schedule and potentially no home field advantage (if fans aren’t allowed in the stadium for the entire season) don’t help.
I’m tempted to follow the math on this one, go against the public and take the ‘under’. That is how I would play it if the number was 11.5. But at 10.5, I still think there’s some wiggle for a team that’s hit 11 or more wins seven of the last 11 years.
Take New Orleans Saints ‘Over’ 10.5 Wins.
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