On Monday, PFF’s Dalton Wasserman and Jim Wyman wrote an article predicting if each team will go over or under their projected win total for 2023. The New Orleans Saints win total for 2023 is 9.5 games, and PFF doesn’t believe the Saints will hit the over.
The Saints have the easiest schedule in the league based on 2022 records. They went 7-10 last season in Dennis Allen’s first year, losing five of those games by one score. This team has drastically improved their roster, starting with the QB position where they signed four-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr. They also filled major holes on their roster with players such as Bryan Bresee, Isaiah Foskey, Foster Moreau, Jamal Williams and Kendre Miller.
The Saints had one of the worst passing attacks in the entire league in 2022. Andy Dalton was the main starter, and he had a couple good games, but for most of the year, the offense couldn’t get anything going. Now, with Derek Carr and a potentially healthy Michael Thomas, this offense should quickly become one of the best in the league. Even with Kamara’s suspension looming, Kendre Miller and Jamal Williams are two very capable backs that can carry the load while he’s out.
PFF pointed to the Saints O-line and D-line as their main weaknesses in 2023. They have a very valid point as both lines were lackluster in 2022. On offense, Andrus Peat hasn’t become the player the Saints thought he would become, and Trevor Penning had to miss a lot of time due to injury. Penning is set to enter the 2023 season healthy, and when he was on the field, he posted an 80.2 run grade on PFF. He’s going to have to work on his pass blocking, but if he can stay healthy, it should help the offensive line out tremendously.
The pass rushing trio of Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport and Payton Turner were very disappointing last season. Jordan found his footing in the back half of the year, but Davenport and Turner never showed up. Davenport signed with Minnesota this offseason, and the Saints found another edge rusher in the draft to replace him in Isaiah Foskey. He was the most productive edge in the draft outside of Will Anderson. He had 12 sacks in 2021 and 2022, and if he can reach the six-sack mark in 2023, it would be a successful rookie season. The Saints also added Bryan Bresee, Khalen Sanders and Nathan Shepherd to help fill the middle of the line. Both lines should be improved from last season and could end up being the biggest X-factor for this season.
The Saints were very close to winning 10 games in 2022. Wil Lutz missed a 61-yard FG by inches as time expired against the Vikings, the Bucs came back from a 14-point deficit with minutes to play in a game the Saints had all but wrapped up and the Panthers hit a game winning FG in week 18 to win after Wil Lutz’s 55-yard attempt was blocked the possession before.
Now with a much-improved roster, an easier schedule and Dennis Allen entering his second year at the helm, the Saints should be able to cross that 10-win mark. This roster is one that is capable of winning double-digit games and taking the division crown. Anything less than that will be an utter failure. A lot of people have their doubts about Dennis Allen, and if he can’t deliver a playoff berth in 2023, his seat will be burning hot.
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