Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2011 Season Preview: New Orleans Saints

2010 Record: 11-5

2010 Rankings:
Total Offense - 6
Passing Offense - 3
Rushing Offense - 28
Scoring Offense - 11
Total Defense - 4
Pass Defense - 4
Rush Defense - 16
Scoring Defense - 7


With Drew Brees leading the offense, the Saints will always be contenders. The only real changes to this unit came in the backfield where Reggie Bush is gone to Miami in Free Agency, and RB Mark Ingram (Alabama) was drafted and Darren Sproles was brought in to be the "change of pace" back. Sproles seems like a perfect fit for this offense with his speed and ability to make plays in space. He has great hands and will be a weapon out of the backfield for the Saints. The Saints receiving corps is virtually the same, with a plethora of options for Brees from the efficient Marques Colston to Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and Devry Henderson. Watch out for tight end Jimmy Graham, who should be one of the main targets in the red zone this year. With all the weapons back in play, there's no reason the Saints won't have a top 5 offense again this year, much the same as the one that carried them to the Super Bowl two years ago.


The Saints went out after being ripped to shreds by Marshawn Lynch in the playoffs and adding some playmakers to their defensive front. First round pick Cameron Jordan (DE-Cal) along with free agent acquisition Shaun Rogers should help lock down the front while LB acquisitions Turk McBride, Clint Ingram and Will Herring should add depth to a decent linebacking unit. The secondary still has some questions, but they can be good enough to keep the Saints in games. The defense is built on creating turnovers and can get ripped apart at times.


To be honest, the Saints collapse in the playoffs last year was partly due to their offense going into a shell and not being able to produce. As odd as it might sound, the running game is still a very important factor for the Saints and they need to have all facets of their offense working. The defense should be better and they'll be right there in the hunt in the NFC once again.

If the Saints were a Beer, they would be:

Abita Purple Haze

While not even the best product put out by Abita Brewery (that would be Turbodog), the sexier, more popular "Purple Haze" is the beer for the Saints. Not only is Abita brewed in Louisiana, but Purple Haze is a bit flashier and more colorful, thus garnering wider recognition in bars around the country than Turbodog. Maybe it's because Raspberry Wheat Beers are hard to come by, so it's something special to have, whereas everyone and their mother makes a Brown Ale (though few are as good as Turbodog).

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