clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preseason power rankings: No. 5 New Orleans Saints

The Saints defense was historically awful in 2012, but it came back in 2013 and the Saints made the playoffs. This year, the Saints should be in contention for the Super Bowl.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Record: 11-5

Notable Losses: Roman Harper, Darren Sproles, Lance Moore, Bryan De La Puente, Will Smith, Malcolm Jenkins, Charles Brown, Jabari Greer

Notable Gains: Jonathan Goodwin, Jairus Byrd

Draft Class: Brandin Cooks, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Khairi Fortt, Vinnie Sunseri, Ronald Powell, Tavon Brooks

The Facts: The Saints offense should be stellar as always. Drew Brees has all the targets to reach 5,000 yards again. Marques Colston, Kenny Stils, Brandon Cooks, Joe Morgan, Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham and Ben Watson will make life easy for Brees. Their rushing attack should be fine with Travaris Cadet, Pierre Thomas, Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram.

Left tackle is a slight concern as they have a young Terron Armstead written in as their starting left tackle and Armstead only started two games in 2013.

Defensively, they should be even better than they were in 2013. They're younger and healthier on defense. Rob Ryan's scheme isn't foreign to them now and they have Jairus Byrd to join Kenny Vaccaro in the secondary.

They should definitely win the NFC South. The Panthers being primed for regression, the Buccaneers are in reset mode and the Falcons are not 100% ready for contention.

One of the biggest concerns I have with the Saints is their kicker. Mainly their lack of one. The Saints do not have a kicker at the moment as both Derek Dimke and Shayne Graham were cut. It sounds ridiculous but for a team like the Saints, the last thing they want is to miss the Super Bowl because of kicking issues (trust me, we've been there, it's painful). Fortunately, a good kicker isn't terribly hard to find.

Predicted Record: 12-4 wins against Panthers (x2), Buccaneers, Falcons (x2), Ravens, Browns, Bengals, Lions, Packers, Vikings and Cowboys

If you disagree with my assessment and ranking remember: Unless it's something crazy,your guess is as good as mine.