2018 NFC number one seed and NFC South Champions
Here we are, this year’s team. This is the year fans are hoping, praying and using whatever voodoo they can to will the Saints to the Super Bowl. The question of who the Saints will play, and who we want them to play are at the forefront for all Saints fans. The 2018 Saints averaged 31.5 points/game, 379.2 yards/game, 252.6 passing yards, 126.6 rushing yards, and held opponents to 349 yards of total offense. But, how did the Saints fare in 2018 following the bye week?
This year’s Week 7 game against the Baltimore Ravens following the bye week is probably the freshest game in fans’ minds. The Ravens hosted the Saints, in a game where the Saints were able to just squeeze out a 24-23 victory. The Ravens’ defense was able to hold the Saints to a mere 339 yards of total offense.
The Saints also allowed the Ravens 351 yards of total offense. But, thanks to a few key defensive plays, and a 134-yard rushing performance, the Saints walked away with a close victory. As far as bye week returns are concerned, 2018 is the most concerning. This game was an example of sluggish play by the Saints offense. However, it also exemplified how this Saints team can win in multiple different ways. In my opinion, this Saints team is the most complete and well-rounded team of the four.
Every Super Bowl caliber Saints team since 2009 has won their game returning from the bye week. Most of these games were won in magnificent fashion that included tons of offense and great key defensive plays. The Saints worst bye week performance was this year. This could be due to playing outside in cold weather, while facing a stellar defense in the Ravens. The other victories occurred inside the Superdome.
The advantage the Superdome gives the Saints cannot be emphasized enough, and should give the edge to a Saints team that has proved over and over again that it can win in multiple ways, regardless of taking a week off.
Our own Tony Twillie has an excellent article out about who the Saints should want to play in the NFC Divisional round. I am personally hoping for the Eagles so I can actively root against my wife.
Drew Brees made the All-Pro Second Team as quarterback, while Mahomes snagged the First Team honors.
WR Michael Thomas was given All-Pro First Team Honors