New Orleans Saints' Updated Game-by-Game Outlook

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New Orleans Saints' Updated Game-by-Game Outlook
Harry How/Getty Images

After an uneven and often ugly start that left the New Orleans Saints 1-4 heading into their bye week, it is hard to be too optimistic about the remainder of the 2012 NFL season. 

But perhaps a glimmer of hope arose from within the pitch-dark crevice of NFL obscurity (or at least awfulness) in the team's Week 5 dramatic victory over the San Diego Chargers. With Drew Brees putting himself in the record books, again, and the defense playing with an intensity and attention to detail not seen in the season's first four weeks, the Saints emerged as a team ready to take the NFL by storm in the final 11 games of the season. 

With only one game left of the somewhat disastrous Aaron Kromer era, the New Orleans Saints appear ready to announce their presence as a team to watch out for in the second half of the season. Like the 2007 season (which is almost a direct parallel to this campaign), the Saints are truly in position to make a playoff run with a couple breaks going their way here and there. 

But there is a significant caution sign in their way: The schedule actually gets tougher in the final 11 games. Going into the season we knew the first four games served as an opportunity to get out of the gate strong before a storm hit them on the schedule. 

That said, few teams possess the overall talent and depth of this Saints roster. For that reason, and others, even a difficult 11-game schedule should not be enough to slow this team down, and 8-8 should be the absolute worst this team finishes the season. 

But the following is what I predict will actually take place. 

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