The kickoff of the 2019 New Orleans Saints season begins with equal parts excitement and anger within Who Dat Nation. This Saints team is arguably the deepest and most talented of the Sean Payton era. The front office has built a Super Bowl favorite again, after coming within a game of the Super Bowl last season. They kick off their highly anticipated campaign this week at home against the Houston Texans.
Now the Saints are poised to bring New Orleans its second Lombardi title. With the combination of a health and luck, this team should do just that. This has all the makings of a team focused to win the title. Focused to win as the Drew Brees era comes to its close. Focused to make good on the promise set in January, in the aftermath of the “Superdome Screwjob”. The Saints have the focus they need to get them to Miami next February for Super Bowl LIV. Their journey is set to begin, their course is set for a Super Bowl title, and their destiny awaits.
All season and postseason, Wallace Delery of Canal Street Chronicles will be presenting you with each and every game on the NFL schedule along with my pick for each game. It’s been a long wait for this season to begin, so lets get started.
Thursday, September 5th - 2019 NFL 100th Anniversary Season Kickoff
In lieu of the Super Bowl Champion kicking off the new season, as in previous years, the oldest rivalry in the NFL kicks off the NFL’s 100th anniversary season. Chicago comes in as the defending division champs and are the favorites to repeat, but Aaron Rodgers always seems to have a knack of pulling out these kind of primetime wins in the end. A late score seals it for the Pack. Green Bay wins 17-16.
Sunday, September 8th - Early Games
The defending NFC Champions* travel to Charlotte to face Carolina. The ground games for each team will be the key in this one. Both offenses will slow it down and grind things out on offense. A late field goal clinches the win for Carolina. Carolina wins 17-14.
Expect a big day through the air by Carson Wentz and the Philly passing attack while Washington tries to figure out their own offense early in this season. Philadelphia wins 26-7.
Buffalo will struggle to consistently put up points this season while the Jets hope their new additions can lift a very pedestrian roster from a season ago. Jets win 19-10.
The pressure is on Minnesota to rebound from an extremely disappointing season last year and things won't start off easy against a healthy Atlanta squad, but home field advantage and a dangerous defense will carry the day for the Vikes. Minnesota wins 26-17.
A very long season begins for the Super Bowl host city in Miami, as the relentless Baltimore defense will make life miserable for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Phins. The Baltimore ground game will grind Miami into the turf on the other end. Baltimore wins 34-7.
The Nick Foles era begins in Jacksonville against the AFC favorites and the league’s darling in Patrick Mahomes. The Jags, while improved, are still outgunned in this one. Kansas City wins 24-14.
The Browns, yes the Cleveland Browns, are the talk of the NFL coming into this season and they are facing expectations that have been unheard of for this franchise since long before their original incarnation packed they bags and moved to Baltimore. Although expectations should be tempered a bit for this team, Cleveland will open the season with a home win here against Tennessee. Cleveland wins 21-17.
Sunday, September 8th - Late Games
The Jacoby Brissett era now begins in Indy, following the untimely retirement of Andrew Luck. Brissett will surprise some with his play, but it really shouldn't be too surprising as the young quarterback has a great deal of talent. The problem he will have to overcome this season is that he simply isn't Andrew Luck. The problem he and his Colts face this week is one of the AFC’s top teams from a year ago, in Los Angeles. Even without Melvin Gordon, the Bolts will get the win here. Los Angeles wins 26-16.
Against one of the NFL’s most formidable front sevens and the always-dangerous Russell Wilson in Seattle, Cincy is in a bit over their heads. Seattle wins 27-12.
49ers at Buccaneers
If healthy, San Francisco can be very dangerous this season, but that’s a big if. On the other side Bruce Arians is fielding a team that can have quite a few surprising victories this season. This one will be the first for the Bucs. Tampa wins 24-20.
Things will get very difficult for Dallas if they cannot get Ezekiel Elliot back on the field, but they won't feel that hurt yet here in Week One against the Giants. Expect a big game from Dak Prescott and the Dallas passing game. Dallas wins 28-24.
Arizona needs to get something, anything out of their offense this season, but it won't come early or easy against one of the NFL’s more underrated defenses in Matt Patricia’s squad in Detroit. Matthew Stafford and the Lions pick up the win here. Detroit wins 24-17.
Sunday Night Football
Ben Roethlisberger will have to throw it all over the field in this one as Pittsburgh’s ground game will be neutralized by the Pats defense. New England’s balance, as well as homefield advantage will be too much for Pittsburgh to overcome, once again. As New England’s championship banner is raised, they will once again prove their dominance over Pittsburgh. New England wins 24-19.
Monday, September 9th - Monday Night Football Doubleheader
Texans at Saints - Game of the Week
The Saints enter this season as the favorite in the NFC to advance to Super Bowl LIV and look to win their third-consecutive NFC South Championship. The Saints also enter Week One as one of the bigger favorites on the board, but despite this, they should expect to have quite a fight on their hands in this opener in the Dome.
The Saints have all the tools necessary to dispatch of Houston in this primetime matchup, but they have to do what failed them during last season’s playoffs, they must keep pressure off Drew Brees, giving him time to work the ball to his various weapons. Primarily, they have to keep JJ Watt away from Brees. On defense the Saints have the pieces to field another stellar defense this season, and they have the defensive weapons to counteract Houston’s offensive counterparts.
Unfortunately, Dennis Allen’s defenses always tend to struggle in the opening week, and that trend will likely continue here against the dangerous pairing of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. The 2019 Saints defense will be better, much better than they will show in this game, but it will take this game to work some of those kinks out.
The Saints haven’t won a season opener in six years and it will take an exorcism-like effort to reverse this ugly trend, much to the chagrin of the physical and emotional well being of every Saints fan watching this game. It will come down to the very end, but the Saints will finally reverse the Week One curse and start this season 1-0. Saints win 31-30.
New Denver quarterback Joe Flacco will pick up his first win with his new team as the Broncos beat the traveling circus known as the Oakland Raiders. Denver wins 23-20.
That’s how I see it, tell us how you see Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season unfolding. Leave your comments and insight below. Finally, Saints football is back! WHO DAT!!!