By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on June 11, 2014
The New Orleans Saints are looking to have another big year in hopes of returning the Lombardi Trophy back to the Big Easy. After a strong draft and a little shopping around in the free agent market, the Black and Gold certainly have the talent to go all the way. With that in mind, let's look at five early predictions for the Saints in 2014.
CB Keenan Lewis had a solid year in 2013 as the Saints' No. 2 corner; he finished the season with four interceptions and 13 passes defended. Something that went unnoticed by many people is the fact that he shut down almost every wide receiver he went up against. Now is his time to shine as the team's No. 1 corner. Lewis and Jairus Byrd have a little bet to see who can lead the team in picks; I'm going with Lewis in a neck-and-neck race.
Since entering the NFL in 2011, Cam Jordan's numbers have increased every year. After totaling eight sacks in 2012, he went on to post 12.5 last season and was selected to his first ever Pro Bowl. Rob Ryan's aggressive play calling and 3-4 scheme have certainly helped Jordan's game. I see the Saints' defensive end leading the team in sacks for the third straight year and making the Pro Bowl roster again.
Like Cam Jordan, Junior Galette's numbers get better and better every year. After posting 12 sacks in 2013 at outside linebacker, I feel like he should have been playing alongside Jordan in Hawaii. If he can continue his success this year, which I think he will, a Pro Bowl appearance is likely for the Saints' aggressive pass rusher.
Let's face it, Drew Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Not having Lance Moore and Darren Sproles may affect the offense in certain aspects, but I think the addition of Brandin Cooks and return of Joe Morgan (missed 2013) are going to make things better. With the speed of Kenny Stills, Cooks and Morgan, the deep game may be at an all-time high for the Saints. Brees will surpass 5,000 yards with ease.
The Saints looked to be a sure lock to win the NFC South in 2013, but the Panthers made quite an impressive run to grab ahold of the title. Carolina lost some key players in free agency, and the Atlanta Falcons still have some work to do to get back in the race. Tampa Bay should be no trouble at all. I think this is the best roster the Saints have seen in a while. New Orleans goes 12-4 to reclaim the division.
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