As of this writing, the New Orleans Saints are up on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-7 with about 12 minutes to go in the second quarter of their week two divisional match up. Saints quarterback Drew Brees had an early interception, but he’s also thrown for over 150 yards and one touchdown. Tight end Jimmy Graham is also having a great start to the day, having already grabbed five receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Following a season that saw the Saints go 7-9 and give up a record setting 7,042 yards on defense, Sean Payton‘s return has brought a sense of normalcy back to New Orleans. The fan base is energized and the players obviously seem happy to have their head coach back in the captain’s chair setting up plays, figuring out advantageous match ups and managing the game.
The only question that remains for Saints fans this season is just how much better can New Orleans get as the season progresses, and can they take back the NFC South title from the Atlanta Falcons?
On the former, as long as most of the key personnel such as Brees and Graham stay healthy and the offensive line continues to offer solid protection for Brees, I think the sky is the limit. We’ve already seen how potent New Orleans’ offense can get. Brees’ two consecutive seasons of 5,000 yards passing are a testament to that. On the latter, I’m just not sure how that will play out as the Falcons are a solid team as well. Matt Ryan had a good day against the St. Louis Rams today throwing for 374 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
I am going to go ahead an make a bold prediction. I am going to say that New Orleans will take back the NFC South title from Atlanta to compete in the postseason.
There. I’ve said it.
Now the Saints must continue to improve as the season goes on and prove that they should not be overlooked.