New Orleans Saints Predictions

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The Saints went into the 2012 season without their head coach Sean Payton and the results weren’t good. New Orleans opened the season 0-4 and would go on to finish up the year at 7-9. It was their first losing season since 2007, putting an end to three straight trips to the postseason.

While the offense was able to do their part behind Drew Brees and the NFL’s top-rated passing attack that averaged an impressive 312.3 yards per game, the Saints were done in by a defense that ranked in the bottom two in total yards, passing yards, rushing yards and points allowed. Given just how bad the defense was in 2012, it’s pretty impressive that only two of the Saints nine losses came by more than 10-points.

Last Season
NFC South
Record
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Over/Under
T-2nd
7-9
8-8
4-4
4-4
10-6
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
2nd
32nd
+2
28.8
28.4
2013 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
S Kenny Vaccaro, OT Terron Armstead, NT John Jenkins, WR Kenny Stills.
Additions
QB Luke McCown, TE Ben Watson, OT Jason Smith, DE/DT Kenyon Coleman, DE/OLB Victor Butler, CB Keenan Lewis, CB Chris Carr, S Jim Leonard.
Losses
QB Chase Daniel, RB Chris Ivory, WR Devery Henderson, TE David Thomas, OT Jermon Bushrod, DE Turk McBride, DT Sedrick Ellis, OLB Scott Shanle, OLB Jonathan Casillas, CB Elbert Mack, CB Johnny Patrick.
Key Numbers for 2013
Draft Grade
Preseason Power Ranking
Strength of Schedule
B
17th
1.50
3rd
Head Coach Sean Payton
*Records for regular season only.
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
62-34
53-41-2
32-16
27-20-1
30-18
26-21-1
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
3-3
3-3
20-9
19-10
Schedule
2013 New Orleans Saints Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/8 Falcons
-1.5
0.53
9/15 @ Bucs
-1.5
0.53
9/22 Cardinals
-7.5
0.78
9/30 Dolphins
-4
0.67
10/6 @ Bears
+1
0.49
10/13 @ Patriots
+4
0.34
Week 7 BYE
10/27 Bills
-6.5
0.72
11/3 @ Jets
-1.5
0.53
11/10 Cowboys
-4
0.66
11/17 49ers
PK
0.50
11/21 @ Falcons
+2.5
0.45
12/2 @ Seahawks
+3.5
0.36
12/8 Panthers
-3.5
0.64
12/15 @ Rams
-1.5
0.53
12/22 @ Panthers
PK
0.50
12/29 Bucs
-7
0.70
Estimated Wins: 8.98

New Orleans has a pretty favorable schedule, which should allow them to return to be one of the top threats in the NFC. Other than their two division matchups against Atlanta, the Saints only play three other teams who made the playoffs in 2012.

One of the Saints’ problems last year was the fact that they went just 4-4 at home. They should be able to easily top that mark in 2013. While they have a trio of difficult games at the Superdome against Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco, you have to like their chances of winning two of the three. The rest of the home schedule features the Cardinals, Dolphins, Bills, Panthers and Bucs.

Finishing with a winning record on the road won’t be quite as easy. New Orleans has to go to Chicago, New England, Seattle, St Louis and New York Jets on top of what are always three difficult division road games.

The make or break point of the season for the Saints will likely come during a difficult four-game stretch from Week 10 to Week 13. They first must host the Cowboys and 49ers before a brutal back-to-back road set against Atlanta and Seattle.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the NFC
to Win Super Bowl XLVIII
9
10 to 1
18 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Predictions

It’s not very often that you can just ignore how a team played the previous year, but I think that’s exactly what you have to do when looking at the 2013 Saints. Without Payton the Saints just weren’t the same team. The fact that they were even in the playoff picture in the second half of the season was pretty remarkable given their circumstances.

Brees did everything in his power to keep the Saints competitive and did a decent job of doing so. However, due to the defense not being able to stop the opposition, he was forced to do too much on his own. With Payton back in charge of the offense, look for New Orleans to get back to running the football. A lot of people forget that the Saints had the sixth-best rushing attack in the league in 2011.

While the Saints bring back their core of skill players, they do have a glaring hole at left tackle with the departure of Jermon Bushrod. The frontrunner to win the job is Charles Brown, but don’t be surprised if rookie Terron Armstead wins the spot. It’s certainly a concern, but Brees gets rid of the ball so fast that I don’t think it’s going to hurt them as much as some people might think. You have to remember Bushrod wasn’t all that great.

What has me picking the Saints to win the NFC South is a defense that I think will make drastic improvements under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. In fact, I think Ryan might have been their best pickup of the entire offseason. He will switch the things up and have the Saints running a 3-4 this season. They should be solid up front with defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Will Smith sandwiched around either Brodrick Bunkley or rookie John Jenkins at nose tackle. I also expect much better play out of a linebacker unit that features Jonathan Vilma, Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne and newly acquired Victor Butler.

The Saints secondary is also headed in the right direction. They added in corner Keenan Lewis to start opposite of Jabari Greer. On top of that, they signed veteran Jim Leonhard and used their top pick on Kenny Vaccaro to create some much needed competition at safety with Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper.

Projections
NFC South Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
1st
4-2
11-5
Over 9
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About the Author: Jimmy Boyd is known for his consistency. He's a proven winner in college and pro football, college and pro basketball and pro baseball. He finished as the No. 1 ranked MLB handicapper in 2007 by earning $1,000/game bettors $50,050. He also finished as the No. 1 ranked basketball handicapper in the 2008-09 season, profiting $1,000/game bettors 38,530. His basketball plays have banked $1,000/game bettors nearly $80,000 the last five years. Check out Jimmy's premium picks for tonight!
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