Analysts, insiders, bloggers, writers, whoever... They can all predict their expected outcome in the upcoming NFL season, but once the season actually begins, anything can happen. Until a team is mathematically eliminated from the postseason, they could still theoretically win the Super Bowl.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN makes the case of why each of the NFL's 32 teams could in fact win the Super Bowl this year. For the New Orleans Saints, he says:
When you've got Drew Brees under center, you have a chance at winning every single time you step on the field. That's the best argument for the Saints. Their defense also can't be as bad as it was a year ago, when the Bears were second-to-last in DVOA and closer to 12th than they were to the Saints at 32nd. A dead-cat bounce would be a meaningful improvement and could be enough to push New Orleans into the postseason. You can make a case that the 2015 Saints defense was one of the worst in NFL history, and the team still won seven games. Anything is possible.
That's fair. And after Drew's most recent contract extension, he should be a little more distraction-free during the 2016 season.
Barnwell compares the 2016 New Orleans to the 1997 Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.
I love the idea of an old gunslinger making one last unlikely run for a championship, and you can picture such a run with these Broncos, who had 37-year-old John Elway at the helm for the first of what would be back-to-back titles. Brees already has his, of course, but the more difficult problem in making this comparison is that those Broncos had the league's eighth-best defense by DVOA. If Dennis Allen gets the Saints into the top 10, he should be considered for actual sainthood.
What are you thoughts, Saints fans? Do you see a little bit of the John Elway/Terrell Davis Broncos in this year's Saints?