2015 New Orleans Saints Season Predictions
The New Orleans Saints will try to improve on a disappointing 7-9 season and try to get back to the form that saw them a dominant NFL force just a few short years ago. The problem? The Saints inexplicably traded away their best offensive weapon Jimmy Graham, they traded Kenny Stills and they still have the hugely over-rated Rob Ryan running the defense.
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New Orleans Saints Future Odds
New Orleans Saints Betting Lines to win the 2016 Super Bowl 40/1
New Orleans Saints Betting Lines to win the 2016 NFC Conference 22/1
New Orleans Saints Betting Lines to Win the 2015 NFC South +225
That said the Saints did make some decent moves in the offseason, ones that could make them respectable and ones that could carry them over the top in the still-underwhelming NFC South.
Will Sean Peyton be able to weave some magic while the window seems to be closing in New Orleans or are the Saints destined for yet another disappointing season?
Let’s start with the offense, the calling card for this team the last decade or so.
Gone are Graham and Stills but in are Max Unger and CJ Spiller who could fill the Darren Sproles role that was so sadly lacking in the offense last year. Max Unger significantly upgrades an O-line that was seen as the Achilles Heel of this team.
Look for a more run-based Saints offense this upcoming year – that protects Drew Brees, keeps opposing offenses off the field and makes their own defense a little less relevant – all positive things for this team.
Drew Brees is definitely on the down-side of his career and not having safety valve Jimmy Graham there will be interesting to say the least. Graham was apparently a locker-room cancer and his departure may be more of a positive than a negative.
But that leaves an over-the-hill Marques Colston, Brandon Crooks who definitely has upside and CJ Spiller out of the backfield to be Brees’ main weapons – they are OK but not quite at that elite level we’d like to see. Brees threw just 33 TDs to go along with 17 interceptions last year and just didn’t look right all season long.
The hope is that with the help the Saints received on the O-line, Brees can return to his glorious self – I for one just don’t see it however.
At least the Saints will have a formidable running game. Mark Ingram and CJ Spiller should make up a good duo – Spiller’s pass catching chops and his ability to act as Breese’s safety valve should look good on this offense – they were obviously missing a slash/type player in the offense.
If Ingram stumbles, Khiry Robinson could swoop in and steal some carries. New Orleans has a good running game – the challenge is to utilize it appropriately and effectively!
The New Orleans defense is still a huge question mark. They used six of their eight draft picks in defense and they needed to – this team surrendered an average of 26.5 points last year – ungood! The Saints did well during the draft filling some needs and they went out and got Brandon Browner from the Patriots.
He is a nice upgrade in the secondary. He and the hopefully healthy Jarius Byrd should give the Saints some decent pass protection.
The defensive isn’t bad and it isn’t great – any improvement however could make the Saints a threat in the unflattering NFC South.
Saints 2015 Prediction:
The Saints went out and addressed some serious areas of need this past offseason but in turn completely changed the identity of their offense – it should be interesting to see how it plays out!
The offensive line was the most critical area of need – if Drew Brees has time and the running backs have room to roam the Saints could contend for the NFC South crown. The improvements on defense are worth mention as well – as long as Rob Ryan doesn’t poison them along the way.
New Orleans looks like a 9-7 team to me, if they can improve on an almost unfathomable 3-5 record at home last season. Brees’ potential downturn scares me but I think he has one or two more good years left.
I see New Orleans taking the NFC South but bowing out early in the playoffs – they’ll be OK but not quite at the level of the teams playoff bound in the NFC.
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