New Orleans Saints 2020 first-half season predictions

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after a second quarter rushing touchdown by Alvin Kamara #41 (not pictured) against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after a second quarter rushing touchdown by Alvin Kamara #41 (not pictured) against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

First Quarter

The Saints open the season at home this Sunday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s always tough to start your season with a divisional game. It’s even tougher when that team is now quarterbacked by Tom Brady.

This will be the Sunday afternoon national feature game.

Tampa has obviously upgraded.

While the Saints have acquired their former QB Jameis Winston, it was obvious that the team took a big step forward under Bruce Arians last season. They have tremendous talent at receiver and TE and now a QB that should consistently get them the ball.

The biggest issue with Tampa is time as a unit. This is a team that should be very scary from mid-October to the end of the season. But getting to that point will be challenging. I just do not see them as fully ready for the Saints in week one.

I think this one will be high scoring as the defenses work to find their groove. But the Saints, notoriously slow starting in the first two weeks, should get a home win. Should…

Week Two sees the Saints christening Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas as the Raiders play their home opener in a Monday night matchup. This looks to be a challenge, not because the LV Raiders match up well with us, but because of the nature of the game – MNF at their brand-new stadium.

More from Who Dat Dish

But the Saints are ready for primetime, going 16-7 on Monday night with Drew Brees at QB, and 11-5 since 2010. That includes a 5-2 Monday road record under Sean Payton. Saints should spoil their opening celebration.

Week Three has the Who Dats back home against the Green Bay Packers in a Sunday Night matchup. The Packers were the one team standing in the way of the Saints getting a bye last year. They ended up with the same 13-3 record as New Orleans but finished in second place ahead of the Saints due to a better conference record.

Green Bay is a team with a lot of question marks. They are obviously talented, but what part does the drafting on Aaron Rodgers’ eventual replacement play going forward? Not so much for the mental aspect, but for taking a QB with a first-round draft pick. This one plays strangely.

But the Saints have played well in week three games. Week three has been when the defense really began to play well in the last couple of seasons, particularly last year on the road in Seattle.

And we are a particularly good Sunday Night football team, going 17-5 in the Payton/Brees era (including playoff games). Our overall team is better, and we eke out a home win here.

We stay in the NFC North the following week, tripping up to Detroit. You do not want to disparage any NFL team, but few teams are as much an enigma as the Lions.

Matt Stafford has had some particularly good days against us, but usually, those are in losses. Detroit just does not have the firepower to keep up with the Saints. They seem to be spinning their wheels. Even in Motown, the Saints come out on top.

First Quarter record: 3-1

There is a lot of “should” in the first three games. Playing with no preseason will damage every team, including the Saints. While the Saints could win every one of these games, the likelihood of winning all these games is small.

facebooktwitterreddit