After an 0-2 start, much of Who Dat Nation had little hope for a winning season. All of a sudden, the Black and Gold have won them over and can really make this 2017 season special.
Anyone that had the Saints winning more than 10-11 games before the season had to be sipping too many daiquiris on Bourbon Street. Who would dare to even make an attempt to make a case that this team has the ability to even win nine games.
The season is only seven games in. However, this team is taking an identity. And now the national media is aware that the Saints have to be taken seriously. Take a look at the latest Super Bowl picks at NFL.com.
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Two of the analysts there have the Pittsburgh Steelers playing the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl LI. Of course, you’d be hard pressed to hear any mention of the Saints going anywhere before September. After the second game, no one would’ve even had the Saints winning 5-6 games.
They missed something. How could everyone be so wrong then? But in a matter of a month, the New Orleans Saints are now contenders.
Ironically, the Saints are not winning with Drew Brees heaving the ball up 50 times a game. There was a sign in the preseason that this makeover was happening back in August.
Still, that was preseason. That being said, the Saints have embraced toting the ball on the ground to win games. Having RB Alvin Kamara obviously helps. Not to mention Mark Ingram looks as good as ever, minus the miscues the last game.
Ingram is averaging 66.3 yards a game. While that may not seem like a lot. Currently, he’s on pace for his second highest yardage average per game. In addition, a good part of that was with a Hall of Famer breathing down his back. Regardless, the running game looks healthy.
Defense is the story
But the story of the 2017 New Orleans Saints is not about the offense this year. There’s no doubt the story of this season has to be the defense. Marshon Lattimore looks like the best rookie cornerback since … ever. Kenny Vaccaro looks determined and focused. The secondary as a whole is lethal.
The constant swarm of defenders actively engaging as one unit is promising. This is the story of your New Orleans Saints. This is why the Saints are winning. Winning breeds confidence. Confidence leads to assurance. The defense has proven its worth so far. The only question is, can they do it and win say 12 games? Time will tell.