By: Nate McMullen
Record: 11-5, 1st NFC South
Success: Powerhouse offense
Failure: Passing defense
Offensive MVP: QB Drew Brees
Defensive MVP: LB Demario Davis
O/U Wins: 10 (O -120, U +100)
Can the Saints redeem last year’s disastrous end?
A major storyline for the New Orleans Saints in 2019 will be how they respond to the missed pass interference call of last year’s conference championship. Sean Payton and Drew Brees reunite for the 14th time on a revenge tour. And that’s one thing the rest of the league doesn’t want to see: an angry Drew Brees. He led the league with an astronomical 74.4 completion percentage last year, to go with a league-best 115.7 rating and a ridiculous 32:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Brees doesn’t have many targets—aside from RB Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas was the only receiver to collect more than 35 receptions—but the addition of TE Jared Cook and the return of Ted Ginn will help in that regard. Supplementing Kamara in the backfield will be Latavius Murray, who will provide the Saints offense with enough rushing credibility to keep defenses honest.
If the Saints can improve one aspect of their game, it’s their defense. They allowed the fourth most passing yards in the NFL last year (268.9/game). That inability to defend the pass resulted in a Week 1 loss to the Bucs, 48-40, and their infamous 26-23 loss in the playoffs. In order to become a truly elite team capable of winning the Super Bowl, New Orleans needs to address their holey secondary. Fortunately for the fans, the Saints drafted two safeties—Chauncey Garner-Johnson and Saquan Johnson—to support Vonn Bell, Eli Apple, and Marshon Lattimore. The squad’s new depth and experience should lead to an improved statistical year
At this point, the Saints look to be every bit as threatening as they were last year. The offense suffered no major fallbacks this offseason and the defense appears to at least stand pat to last year’s squad. With that in mind, the O/U being set at 10 games seems extremely low. Take the over on Orleans and expect to see them back in the playoffs, chasing that elusive trophy and hoping for an uncontroversial ending.