Should fans be encouraged by Saints’ strong finish to last season?

Despite an underwhelming record, the New Orleans Saints finished last season strong. Can the Saints carry that over into the 2024 season?
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

2023 was undoubtedly a disappointing season for the New Orleans Saints. The team missed the playoffs for a third straight year, finishing with a 9-8 record. Obviously, the mediocre season left fans disappointed. However, it’s fair to ask if fans should be optimistic after the way last season ended.

After 12 games, the Saints had a 5-7 record. That was especially disheartening. However, New Orleans found a way to rally towards the end of the season and won four of its last five games. While it ultimately wasn’t enough, the Saints did tie for the best record in the NFC South, and they were able to play far more consistent than they did all year. Is that the team fans should expect next season?

Can the Saints continue their growth from last season?

The first step in determining if the run of wins should be a factor or not is looking at the opponents. If New Orleans knocked of some solid teams, it could be a good sign. Or, the wins could’ve been a product of playing bad teams. The answer is kind of somewhere in the middle.

The Saints defeated the 2-15 Carolina Panthers, the 6-11 New York Giants, the 9-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the 7-10 Atlanta Falcons. The lone loss came to the 10-7 Los Angeles Rams. So, New Orleans beat two bad teams and two average teams, and lost to a good team. That isn’t going to provide fans a ton of optimism.

If there’s anything to be excited about, it’s individual performances. Derek Carr and Chris Olave appeared to have a better connections later in the year, and young weapons A.T. Perry and Kendre Miller had some breakout performances. Those are the only true building blocks. Everything else pretty much resets, especially since the Saints have a new offensive coordinator.

New Orleans will be starting from a clean slate, and nothing that happened last season will contribute to wins in 2024. The Saints will have go out every game and prove that they’re a better team than they were a year ago.