The NFC South is widely regarded as a division up for grabs. Tampa Bay just won the division with eight wins - they now go from Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield at quarterback. Atlanta says Desmond Ridder is their guy. Carolina will most likely grab either C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young.
Over the weekend, we posted a poll on our Twitter page asking, “Who is the biggest threat in the NFC South this season and why?”
Who is the biggest threat in the NFC South this season and why?— Canal St. Chronicles (@SaintsCSC) March 31, 2023
Our fans seem to have some sense. Contrary to popular belief of the media, the New Orleans Saints should and most likely will win the NFC South - rather easily. Six of the Saints’ ten losses came by one possession last season - that number is essentially seven if you include the week 2 loss against Tampa.
New Orleans played almost the entire year without CB1 and WR1. Alvin Kamara, Marcus Maye, Chris Olave, and Alontae Taylor missed time. Not to mention the team missed its starting LT for over half the year. These are all game changers to say the least. Essentially, New Orleans was the most injury-plagued team in the NFL for a second consecutive year.
If the football gods are just a bit more graceful, these guys will suit up all/most of the year. That means those one-possession losses should, at the very least, become one-possession wins. That’s even more expected when you look at how distinctly weaker next year’s schedule is.
Defense wins championships
Defense has been this team’s identity for at least three years now. Even in the midst of endless injuries, the squad remains elite - and Dennis Allen remains to be the top DC in football. New Orleans just put together the second-best passing defense (YPG) in football with Lattimore missing extended time. Now that he’s returning, the opposing team’s X will be a non-factor more often than not. It’s even more impressive when you look at the lack of pass rush we saw during the first half of the year. New Orleans has already revamped the DL, and Dennis Allen assures they aren’t done. Even as Demario Davis ages, he objectively remains the best LB in football. Cam Jordan still has a lot of juice left & we’ll see it clearly now that he has help, and more on the way.
New Orleans has added depth to the back end of the secondary and with Smoke Monday returning off an ACL injury, the team looks to have the deepest secondary in football. A lot of worthy guys will be fighting for spots.
Offensively, you get Michael Thomas back. That changes things drastically, he looked even better in the limited time we saw him last year. You get him a top 10 QB in Derek Carr. You add Jamaal Williams, who just led the league in rushing TD’s and you should/will add another weapon in the draft. AK and Olave are all-world talents who can win games by themselves. Shaheed is beyond explosive, and his route tree should not be taken lightly. Juwan is a better receiving threat than most TEs and Taysom is a mismatch for everyone. You surround these guys around each other and everyone eats. A team who once had a lack of firepower now looks to have more firepower than, dare I say… anyone. The OL is top-8 when healthy. The defense will get you more stops than you need, which means more opportunities to move the sticks, more chances to score and more time on the field. That means comfortable wins.
The only two things that can stop this offense from lighting it up is -health and the OC.
If you look at last year’s record, you’d say this team has a long way to go. If you watched every game last year and simultaneously checked the injury report, you’d know this team is championship material.
If New Orleans stays healthy, they will take care of business and host a playoff game next season. Take it to the bank. They’re better than their competition in this division, by a noticeable margin. Let’s call a spade a spade.
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