The New Orleans Saints are coming into the 2022 NFL season in a very good spot. All of the eyes and all of the talk has been about Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South this offseason. Of course, that’s warranted considering this very well might be Brady’s final year playing. They signed Julio Jones and Russell Gage as weapons and their offense is expected to be be one of the best in the league. But that has certainly masked the potential for the Saints to make some noise this year.
New Orleans has quietly had one of the better defenses in the NFL the last handful of years. In 2021, the Saints defense finished seventh best in the league in yards allowed and actually led the NFL in expected points contributed by the defense. There is little reason to think they won’t be a solid unit again this year.
The Saints offense should be considerably better, assuming they remain healthy. Jameis Winston appeared to be on the verge of a breakout season last year until he got injured. Former All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas is back and expected to be the primary weapon in the passing game. Jarvis Landry was added in free agency and the Saints drafted Chris Olave out of Ohio State. Alvin Kamara is not expected to face his suspension for the off-the-field issue in Las Vegas.
Knowing all of that, the opportunity should be there for the Saints to cause some waves. Here are our New Orleans Saints four bold predictions for the 2022 NFL season.
4 Bold Predictions for New Orleans Saints in 2022 Season
4. Saints win 10+ games
As I mentioned above, the Saints have the talent on their roster to win a lot of games. I believe they will win 10 or more games this season. Their schedule is not easy by any means. The NFC South plays the NFC West and AFC North this season. The Seattle Seahawks are the only lock out of those eight opponents.
But Pittsburgh still has issues at quarterback and on defense. The Browns have all sorts of issues surrounding the team, mostly off-the-field issues pertaining to Deshaun Watson. The San Francisco 49ers have an unproven quarterback in Trey Lance who will likely struggle against the Saints defense. New Orleans also gets the Arizona Cardinals before Deandre Hopkins is back from his six-game suspension.
So, even though the schedule is not easy, I believe the Saints will go at least 10-7 this season.
3. Michael Thomas regains prior form
We haven’t seen Saints receiver Michael Thomas on the field in almost two years. He has dealt with numerous injuries that cost him the last couple of seasons, leaving many people to forget the type of impact he had offensively.
Some pundits like to say he was just a by-product of playing with Drew Brees. I’m sorry. 149 catches for over 1,700 yards and nine touchdowns is not possibly only because of playing with a particular quarterback. In three consecutive seasons, Thomas reeled in 102, 125 and 149 catches. Each year, he increased his yardage going 1,205, 1,425 and 1,725. That three year stretch is one of the best in the history of the NFL. I am not ignorant enough to lay the credit on his quarterback. Micheal Thomas is a great wide receiver.
Stats like these are crazy to me. Michael Thomas has only played in 7 games over the past two seasons. Still at the top of this particular list. https://t.co/ErV5ozz3Jb
— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) January 18, 2022
I would expect him to also help fellow Buckeye Chris Olave along in the passing game as well. He is a little banged up as the regular season approaches. I would not be surprised to see a slow start. But once October rolls around, expect Thomas to remind everyone of how good he is.
2. Saints sweep Buccaneers
Brady does not have a losing record against any team in the NFL, astoundingly. But since Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he has really struggled against the Saints. But to be honest, his struggles against New Orleans goes back farther than that.
Tom Brady's passer rating since joining the #Buccaneers:
vs. the Saints: 76.2
vs. every other team: 105.4
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) August 31, 2022
Brady is 5-5 all-time vs. the New Orleans Saints. Only the Denver Broncos have played more games against Brady and drawn even, 8-8. The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals are 2-2 and 1-1 respectively.
But Brady is 0-4 vs the Saints the last two years in the regular season. New Orleans’ defense has really given Brady fits. Knowing the offensive line problems the Buccaneers have, I believe Dennis Allen and the Saints will continue to dominate this matchup.
1. Saints win the NFC South
Most people will think I am crazy. But I believe the Saints are going to win the NFC South this year. The Buccaneers schedule is incredibly difficult. The Saints own them head to head. But the injuries to the Buccaneers are the tipping point.
We have seen throughout Brady’s career that the only time he struggles is against pressure up the middle. Tampa Bay is basically down to third-string offensive lineman at either guard or center. That’s going to be a problem for them all season. Tampa Bay is going to take an unexpected step back. Meanwhile, the Saints are going to win 10 plus games and win the NFC South.
Reasons why the Saints will win the NFC South:
1. They were the most injured team last year by far, and even set a record for the most started players in a season. Despite this, they were still 9-8
2. They own Tampa
3. An already elite defense got even better
— ✰ Lionz ✰ (@lionzkii) August 29, 2022