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Saints predicted for 11-win season in 2019

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I’ll take it.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 regular season is officially released for all 32 teams. While there are still chances for teams to improve via the 2019 NFL Draft and numerous big name free agents still sitting on the market, the majority of each team’s roster is a known commodity at this time.

As such, the sports world has begun predicting win-loss records for every team in the NFL. Bleacher Report is one of the worst to do so post-schedule-release, and they have the New Orleans Saints finishing with a record of 11-5.

After one of the more traumatizing endings to a season you’re going to see in the NFL (one that also brought about a major rule change), the New Orleans Saints are back and seemingly ready for another deep playoff run. On paper, the Saints are one of the league’s more complete teams. But there are causes for a level of concern, including Drew Brees’ late-season fade last year and the loss of tailback Mark Ingram in free agency.

Last year’s regular-season success also got the Saints some formidable non-division games, including a home tilt with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4 and an NFC title game rematch in Week 2 in L.A. The Saints are still the class of their division, but they may take a small step backward in 2019.

While it might seem like a bit of a step backward in 2019, Bleacher Report’s 11-win season sets the Saints up to win the NFC South for the third year in a row. They have the Atlanta Falcons in second place at .500 with an 8-8 record, the Carolina Panthers in third at 7-9 (oh please let the Falcons finish 7-9 too), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the basement at 6-10.

Across the NFC, Bleacher Report has the Philadelphia Eagles winning the NFC East at 11-5, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers finishing with identical 10-6 records in the NFC North, and the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks likewise both finishing 10-6 in the NFC West. That would essentially guarantee the Saints a first round bye along with the Philadelphia Eagles, and potentially, Dome-field throughout the playoffs depending on tiebreakers.

11-5. 13-3. 15-1. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it’s enough to make the playoffs, and ideally, have the team’s playoff games take place in the Mercedes Benz Super Dome.