The Saints Look To Return To Contending Status In 2013
Last season was a total nightmare and disappointment for the Saints. They had a lot of things that didn’t go in their favor in 2012. Things like Bounty-gate, inconsistent play on both sides of the ball and Sean Payton‘s year long suspension were too much to overcome. Despite a tough season last year, the Saints still finished with a 7-9 record and that isn’t too bad despite losing a lot of important pieces last season. If you are a Saints fan, you should be very optimistic for a quick turnaround that can possibly happen in 2013. Things have looked much better for the Saints this off-season, especially with Sean Payton back as Head Coach . The Saints also hired a solid Defensive Coordinator in Rob Ryan that can give the defense a much needed boost. The offense is still explosive led by Future Hall Of Famer and Former Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. It will also be very much improved in 2013 with Sean Payton calling the plays again giving the team the normalcy that they sorely missed in 2012.
The Saints are right where they want to be to start the 2013 season. They have truly embraced the underdog role while most analysts and writers are picking the Falcons to win the NFC South easily. The Falcons are a good team, don’t get me wrong, but the Saints have had their number for the past few seasons. The Saints have beaten the Falcons 11 out of their last 14 match-ups dating back to Drew Brees and Sean Payton arriving in New Orleans in 2006. The Saints should also feel great because last season is now behind them and they are more dangerous than ever. The NFL cannot sleep on the Saints this upcoming season because the Saints are going back to the formula that helped them win the Super Bowl in 2009. That formula is having their offense back to the well oiled machine that has been successful for years now and a defense that’s opportunistic by creating turnovers.
The NFC South every year is always open for the taking but I wouldn’t take the Saints likely. They have the experience on both sides of the ball, an offense that can score on just about any defense, a chip on their shoulder, and a tough 2012. Sean Payton’s return has rejuvenated the players, Front Office and all of Saints fans as well. Sean Payton is one of , if not the best, offensive play-callers in the NFL and you can expect a more efficient year for the offense as well. The defense will definitely improve from a historically bad season in 2012 giving up 440.1 yards per game finishing last (32nd) in total defense. Rob Ryan will get the defense back to playoff form this season. If the pieces are flowing nicely together, the turnovers will be created at an alarming rate and that will put the offense in a better position to be successful.
A rejuvenated Saints team will be dangerous in 2013. They don’t have any distractions to worry about and the media is basically writing them off before the season even begins. This Saints team is my sleeper pick to return to the playoffs in 2013 due to a great off-season and they are too good of a team to finish 7-9 again or worse this upcoming season. The pieces are in place for the Saints to contend in 2013 and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they make a run in the playoffs. Being under the radar to start the season isn’t a bad thing because the NFL hasn’t remembered how good this Saints team can be when they are on point. This team will be fine as long as Drew Brees and the Offense can stay healthy and the defense can play solid every week. If this Saints team is healthy and playing solid football, they will be tough to deal with come playoff time. So the questions for the Saints in 2013 are – can they return to Super Bowl form and will their defense step up big when they need to?
Allan Wright @TheNatural_88