Saints 2020 Schedule: Weeks 1-8 analysis
Week 1: New Orleans Saints (34) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30)
This game will likely have colossal playoff seed implications right off the bat, which is just excellent for Saints fans’ blood pressure rates! This prediction, score-wise, is probably pretty accurate.
Expect this game to be a complete offensive battle, something we’re not particularly used to with Tampa, unless you count Winston’s interceptions turned to touchdowns as offensive wins for the Saints.
Brady to Godwin is absolutely giving me night terrors, and flashbacks of Kittle’s monster-stomp down the sidelines dragging Marcus Williams by his helmet feel like a premonition for Brady’s reunion with Gronkowski.
However, New Orleans has quietly assembled one of the most potent teams in recent history. They didn’t make any headline acquisitions per se, but they efficiently addressed several crucial holes on an otherwise stacked roster – particularly the veteran additions of S Malcolm Jenkins and WR Emmanuel Sanders.
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Nonsense like the Minnesota Miracle and Kittle’s demolition of the entire Saints secondary simply won’t happen under Jenkins’ watch. The Saints will win due to two advantages: home-field and QB chemistry that can only be improved with time and practice.
Even if the stadium ends up empty, Brees ultimately has the edge due to experience and familiarity with his receivers – Brady simply can’t catch up by Week One. That and Brees has been licking his fingers in absolute delight at his new favorite rivalry and will not let the edge go to Tampa – especially not in the season opener.
Week 2: New Orleans Saints (29) at Las Vegas Raiders (21)
Are we forgetting their most recent 7-9 season? Sure, they stole Sean Payton’s lunch money with a 2-point conversion in 2016, but don’t expect this to be a one-score game whatsoever. While the Saints have massively upgraded since 2016, the Raiders have…well, flailed in comparison.
The Saints show up on primetime no matter what, and this Monday night matchup should be no different. Neither Carr nor Mariota has the chops to keep up with Brees and his new crew of Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, Adam Trautman and, let’s be real here, Taysom Hill.
The 29-point prediction is a bit bizarre – are we expecting the Saints to throw two touchdowns and settle for five field goals? Four touchdowns with one two-point conversion? I take this prediction and raise it a score – 31-21 Saints, with four touchdowns and a field goal.
Week 3: New Orleans Saints (33) vs. Green Bay Packers (28)
This matchup is a tad worrisome. We don’t meet them often and won the last two matchups in 2014 and 2017, but Aaron Rodgers runs a similar pass-heavy offense to Brees, and we all know where those types of games are headed.
As the predicted score reflects, this will likely be a score-heavy game, one that will ultimately come down to whoever has the last possession. With that said, the Packers have been a bit deflated in recent years, whereas the Saints somehow keep marching up and in.
The game goes to the Saints.
Week 4: New Orleans Saints (33) at Detroit Lions (20)
The pesky Lions have always been troublesome matchup for New Orleans.
Though we edged them out in the most recent 2017 game, the Lions won the previous three games in 2014-2016. Matthew Stafford always manages to find a way to run up the score and appear more competitive than their typical abysmal record would suggest.
With that said, the current team reflects the 2017 Saints much more than their historical counterparts, and this matchup should favor the Saints accordingly. As wild as it seems, I’m willing to buy the current 4-0 start thus far.
Week 5: New Orleans Saints (32) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (17)
This game has all the necessary components for a vintage Saints classic. Think the Colts game of pure magic last season. Another primetime matchup on Monday night, at home, and against Brees’ original team.
While there are no immediate records on the line for Brees to shatter (for now), expect the Saints to play this game lights out.
It may be Brees’ final contest against the team that egregiously let him slip away. From the moment Brees starts his inevitably incredible pregame speech, the Saints are running away with this game, no question.
Week 6: BYE (A bit too early for preferential sake)
Week 7: New Orleans Saints (44) vs. Carolina Panthers (15)
This prediction is a bit inflated in my opinion. It’s frankly nonsensical to think Bridgewater could drag the Saints through a 5-0 Brees-less stretch and be unable to function on his new team this abysmally.
You expect me to believe the Panthers, with Christian McCaffrey, will either not reach the endzone and settle for five measly field goals, or will score twice with one two-point conversion?
Sure, lest not forget the broom, but we beat them in our first matchup last season by the skin of our teeth. No matter how terrible a team may seem, if they’re in the NFC South, they’ll be sure to give the Saints a headache for four quarters straight.
Not only that, but the Saints have an irritating habit of falling asleep following their bye week. Anyone else recalls our pitiful Week 10 26-9 loss to Atlanta last season? My prediction is that this is our trap game.
The NFC South nuisance trend will reign supreme; coupled with the preceding bye week, and the simple fact that 6-0 is too hopeful for historical sake, I’m calling our first loss in Carolina. 28-21 Carolina.
Week 8: New Orleans Saints (20) at Chicago Bears (17)
These predictions have devolved quickly. A ONE SCORE 3-point win over the Chicago Bears?
The Chicago Bears, who traded up for Trubisky to ignore Mahomes and Jackson, who inexplicably continue to back a Cutler-esque Trubisky, who finished 3rd in their division last season, and – barring their 12-4 2018 season – set up shop in last place in the NFC North the two years prior?
Did they acquire Nick Bosa while I was asleep? Seeing as we steamrolled them 36-25 at Solider field sans Brees, Kamara and Cook last season, this prediction is simply erroneous. 34-17 is much more realistic, particularly after my trap game prediction in Week 7 – if the Saints have a chip on their shoulder, they win every time.
NFL FanSided has them at 7-0 by Week 8. Personally, I’m going with 6-1 as the more realistic outcome, with Carolina as the pesky NFC South classic trap game.