It may just be preseason, but Saints fans should be happy

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The preseason may mean “nothing”, but issues are issues and positives are positives in the NFL.

Preseason football is an absolute tease. You could arguably equate the overall sense with the famous Whose Line Is It Anyway?  tag line, “Where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter!”

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The preseason as an entirety isn’t a total waste of time, especially for coaching staffs. They have to team up with GMs to figure out the best 53 players for the roster. But, no matter how many snaps starters play in a game, the final result and subsequent plays have no effect whatsoever on the actual season’s outcome.

For the past few seasons, that’s been music to the ears of Saints fans. New Orleans went winless in both the 2015 and 2016 preseason. Despite the team also having a slow start to the regular seasons both years, the poor results from the preseason didn’t carry over.

However, through three games in 2017, the results carrying over into this upcoming season would be very much welcomed.

Impressive play, even with asterisks

The main reason most don’t get hyped up over preseason play is because of the lack of playing-starters. Most games (especially the first two) feature many more second- and third-string guys going head-to-head.

But it’s not like starters don’t play at all in the preseason. In fact, most do play in the third game before giving way to the backups for the fourth. The games have some tangible substance to take away, even if it doesn’t effect the path to the Super Bowl.

The highlight of this successful 2-1 preseason for the Saints is the defense. Typically historically awful the past 6 or so seasons, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is helping shape this defense into a powerhouse. While an asterisk should be put next to this year’s success due to it not counting in the end, there are so many positives to take away and implement when the regular season begins.

After a last minute, 20-14 loss to Cleveland in week 1, the Saints’ preseason losing streak grew to 10 games. The good news is that, since, the Saints have only given up 7 points (from a pick-6) and have won two games in a row. This includes Saturday’s shutout victory over the Houston Texans.

The best game by the team thus far is that exact game, which is wonderful; it’s the first game to feature a majority of Saints starters suiting up and playing. Drew Brees, Cameron Jordan, and Adrian Peterson all made their 2017 preseason debuts Saturday. Others such as Michael Thomas, Kenny Vaccaro, and Marshon Lattimore played even more snaps and continued to play well.

The Saints lead the league in sacks thus far in the preseason. That’s right, the Saints lead the league in a defensive category that isn’t negative. Even if it doesn’t matter in the long run, it’s still a great encouraging sign. Don’t take this with a grain of salt. Teams pride themselves on playing well, no matter the level. The Saints look to continue impressing us during their final preseason game against the Ravens.

Will recent success help the Saints prevail? Or is all of this just a fluke? We really won’t know until at least halfway through the season. With that being said, any Saints win is great and important to the team and fan base. As long as the squad can keep momentum and great play going, New Orleans will shock the world.

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