New Orleans Saints pegged to finish with strong record, but no playoffs?


Nate Davis of USA Today Sports gave his record predictions for all 32 teams yesterday, including playoff and Super Bowl predictions. To everyone’s delight, the New Orleans Saints were picked to improve tremendously over last year with a 10-6 finish. However, they were not picked to win the division or make the playoffs.

"NFC SOUTHPanthers (11-5): Cam Newton is healthy from a mind, body and bank account perspective. He and his formidable defense will also face just four playoff teams from last season. Saints (10-6): They lost their final five games at Superdome in 2014 and still finished 7-9. Don’t expect that streak to continue, especially with a favorable schedule and, theoretically, improved run game and D. Falcons (4-12): New coach Dan Quinn is probably a long way from accruing the talent and personnel that fit the defensive scheme and philosophy he honed in Seattle. It could be a rough start.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12): Jameis Winston could begin 1-0 by beating fellow Heisman winner Marcus Mariota in opener. But Bucs play four of next six on road before hitting teeth of their schedule."

The Carolina Panthers were able to accomplish the impossible last season when they became the first team to win back-to-back NFC South titles since the division was formed in 2002. Arguably, they remain a heavily favored team to win again powered behind a stellar defense.

Davis also gave his playoff predictions, which shockingly puts the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs over teams like the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and San Francisco 49ers.

"NFC playoffsWild card: (6) Rams def. (3) Panthers, (5) Vikings def. (4) EaglesDivisional: (1) Packers def. (6) Rams; (2) Seahawks def. (5) VikingsNFC Championship Game: (1) Packers def. (2) SeahawksSuper Bowl 50: Packers def. Colts"

I also have the New Orleans Saints pegged to win 10-11 games this season, but believe they have the potential to win the division this year. As much as I hate to say it now, a Week 17 showdown on the road against the Atlanta Falcons may be a deciding factor in the whole playoff equation.

The New Orleans Saints continue to fly heavily under the radar, which is a perfect scenario for Sean Payton and company.

Sound off: Where do you see the Saints finishing in 2015?

More from Who Dat Dish