We are piggy-backing off other SB Nation sites that have done their original take on SB Nation’s 2017 NFL Season Preview. The original piece listed a bunch of “Can’t Miss Predictions” for the 2017 season across the NFL, and you should definitely take a look - if only to see our lovely friends from The Falcoholic call Drew Brees the most overrated player in the NFL...
But like some of the other team-sites from SB Nation, I’m going to apply their awards to just our team, the New Orleans Saints. So here are my “Can’t Miss Predictions” that will surely miss.
Come on now. Was there really any doubt? Drew Brees will be the Most Valuable Player for the Saints as he’s going to - for what feels like the the 45,984th time in his career - lead the NFL in passing yards and take the Saints to the postseason for the first time in four seasons.
Most Improved Player
I’ve said it multiple times, and I’ll say it again: Coby Fleener has a massive rebound year in 2017 with the Saints. Expectations were fairly high for Fleener when he signed a big contract to come to New Orleans and replace pass-catching Tight End Benjamin Watson. Then the Saints drafted Michael Thomas to go along with Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead. Brandin Cooks is in New England, Snead is suspended the first three games, and now he’s had a year to develop chemistry with Brees. Fleener will take the biggest step forward from 2016.
Hoss of the Year
It’s not a bold prediction by any means, but I expect Cam Jordan to lead the team in sacks and tackles for loss in 2017. With extra help on the defensive line on the other side, I’m not quite sure I expect Cam to replicate his success from the days when he partnered with Junior Galette, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see a career year from Cam.
Annoying that it took PFF for Saints fans to appreciate Cam Jordan pic.twitter.com/esF2O8ax9i— kenny (@jailposejesus) December 26, 2016
Most Disrespectful Blocker of the Year
If Terron Armstead could just stay healthy...
Armstead and Unger are banged up. Unger and Zach Strief are another year older. 2017 1st Round Pick Ryan Ramczyk has potential, but is too green. I’m going to go with another former 1st Round Pick who I think has the best year for a Saints offensive lineman, and that’s Andrus Peat.
Rookie Who Will Make the Biggest Impact
Again, it’s not an exciting answer, but I’m going to go with CB Marshon Lattimore. With Delvin Breaux on the shelf to start the season, don’t be surprised when the starting duo at Cornerback is PJ Williams and Marshon Lattimore. If Lattimore is able to live up to the lofty grades he received out of the college, he just might be one of the key pieces in rebuilding this Saints offense.
Marshon Lattimore with the lockdown coverage. Ran the route as well as the receiver. pic.twitter.com/kP75eFbZVA— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) August 27, 2017
First NFC South Coach to be Fired
While there are many that think Sean Payton is on the proverbial hot seat, I’m actually going to say that if any team gives their coach the axe, it’s the Carolina Panthers canning Ron Rivera.
Dak Prescott Rookie Who Came Out of Nowhere Award
It’s another “if he can stay healthy” pick, but that’s kind of been his bugaboo his entire football career. I’m going to go with Alex Anzalone, who was picked in the 3rd Round of the 2017 NFL Draft and could be one of the anchors of the Linebacking corps by midseason.
NFC South Team That Won’t Meet Expectations
The Falcons had a nice run. Now it’s time for the trend to continue of Super Bowl losers having a slumping season the following year. And it couldn’t happen to a better team.
Most Overrated Player
It has to be Adrian Peterson. There are a lot of people out there who expect to see the “All-Day” AP of old. It’s not happening. This version that we’re going to see suit up for New Orleans is older, slower, and will be primarily used as a back-up. And that’s OK. Adrian Peterson has already done enough for the Saints, what with his fumbles in the 2009 NFC Championship Game helping to send the Saints to their first Super Bowl.
Which Saints Player Will be Fined First for Celebrating?
Gone are the days of the Jimmy Graham dunk and the Lance Moore dance. Even Brandin Cooks and his bow and arrows are no more. The Saints will probably end up getting some stupid “taunting” call thrown their way when a young player gets too fired up. I’ll say Marcus Williams.
Most Valued Punter
He’s not worth his salary on the Saints, but Thomas “Legatron” Morstead is still one of the best punters in the NFL.