New Orleans Saints: Game-by-game predictions of 2019

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Alvin Kamara
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First Quarter: 2-2

I don’t know if any other team in football jumps out of the gate with a more difficult schedule than the Saints.

The season opens on Monday night against the Houston Texans. The Texans have as good a chance at winning their division as anyone, and they’ll be here to try and start strong. The Saints have been simply BAD in seasons openers.

The Black and Gold have not won a season opener since 2013 and have lost seven of their last eight season openers. For this reason, and because the schedule behind that is so tough, I think the Saints will be prepared for week one. That’s a win this year.

Why do the schedule makers do this, I don’t know. Maybe it’s on purpose because the Saints have to without question play two teams on the west coast this season. But the Saints will have their mettle tested going to Los Angeles in Week 2, then stay out west in Seattle through the week before facing the Seahawks the following Sunday.

Ouch.

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Both the Rams and Seahawks have solid programs and they’ll be rooting for the Saints in the weeks they aren’t playing us, as they’ll battle for the NFC West title this year again. To say I feel good about either of these games would be a lie.

They aren’t great matchups.

Don’t get me wrong – today, the Saints are as good as any team they will face, including the Rams. But on the road and staying out west will be its own problem. The Saints will be tested by both these teams and will possibly not come back home unscathed. It wouldn’t be unbelievable to come back 1-2.

But I do believe the Saints win one of those games out west, and to be honest they’re more likely to beat the Rams in that first week. I think the Rams are not going to be who they were this past season. They will still be good, but maybe not 13-3 good. And my issue with Seattle is simply playing them there. The Saints haven’t won in Seattle since 2007.

They’ve lost the last three straight in Seattle. It’s a tough place to play, and I know from firsthand experience, the noise is real.

The Saints return home to face Dallas in Week 4. This team took us to task last season. Their defense feasted on the Saints. They out-possessed us by nearly 14 minutes. They nearly doubled our offensive output.

Here’s the but… we only gave up one TD on defense. Our defense also hit them for seven sacks and forced three fumbles. I think we will again get after Prescott and pressure him. We played Dallas last year in the form of a perfect storm.

It was our third game in eleven days and the injuries were starting to mount up, and we hadn’t lost since the season opener. Dallas was hitting their stride and played us well defensively. We will be more prepared this time around.

This is one game on the schedule Sean Payton looks forward to every time it comes up.

This is maybe the most important stretch of the entire season for the Saints. They could just as easily end up 1-3 as 3-1 through the first four games. I picked 2-2 splitting the difference.

That is my personal goal for them. They will still set up well if they come through this 2-2. If they go 3-1 or better, I will have to revise my overall season prediction, which I’d be happy to do!

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