Published on: 13th September, 2009
2009 New Orleans Saints Season Preview
The 2008 version of the New Orleans Saints was basically the definition of mediocrity. They finished the season at 8-8 and basically went back and forth all season long. Their longest winning streak was two games and they couldn’t put it together all season. Their defense was definitely what held them back on the year and that was what they concentrated on in the offseason. Did the Saints do enough in the offseason to take the next step? If you’re looking for free football picks, expect the Saints to compete for the division, but fall short in the playoffs.
The Good News: The good news is that the offense is extremely prolific. Last year, they put up the most points of any team in the NFL. Drew Brees put up over 5000 yards passing and came within one pass of breaking the all-time passing yards record for a season. He has been the most consistent quarterback over the last three years and this season will be no different.
This year, Pierre Thomas should bring stability to the runningback position that they have lacked. Last year, he had a great year and this year he is the starter. Reggie Bush is healthy again and adds another dimension to the offense as well. Early reports out of training camp are that receiver Robert Meachem is finally starting to get it. If he can mature, it will make the offense even more explosive.
In the draft they added a very talented cornerback in Malcolm Jenkins out of Ohio State. He was a first round draft pick and has the talent to help shore up the secondary. They also added defensive end Paul Spicer to the mix. His presence should help the pass rush.
The Bad News: The bad news is pretty much all on the other side of the ball. The defense was pretty ineffective last year. They were the reason that the team couldn’t put a winning streak together. They couldn’t really stop anyone and got into a lot of shootouts. It’s been proven time and time again that you have to have some sort of defense to win. While you can get by if you have an awesome offense, you have to have at least a decent defense if you’re going to be better than .500.
The Saints lost a few players that have played key roles for them over the years. Deuce McAllister, Hollis Thomas, and Mike McKenzie are now gone. While Pierre Thomas should fill in nicely for Deuce, it will still be strange not having him in a Saints uniform this year.
Outlook: The Saints will again field one of the top offenses, if not the best offense in the league. I’m not sure if they did enough to make the defense better in one offseason. They were pretty bad last year and they didn’t add quite enough pieces. If you’re looking for free NFL picks, expect the Saints to fight it out with the Panthers for the division.