Throughout the history of the Lombardi Trophy, only seven teams have won back-to-back Super Bowl titles. Usually those teams have had something that sets them apart from the rest of the league. Whether it is an unstoppable passing game, a punishing defense, or a dominating run game, those previous teams have had a dominance in one form or another.
The 2009 Saints have a similar aura around them. Last season they were able to beat teams on either side of the ball. With a takeaway-happy defense, they were one of the top teams in the league in turnovers with 26 interceptions and 15 forced fumbles. Newly added defensive coordinator Gregg Williams instilled an attacking mentality into this defensive unit and caught the whole league by surprise. The defensive line is able to push offensive lines and cause enough problems early to disrupt timing in many high powered offenses.
If a team was able to overcome the defense, the offense could give you a shootout. The passing game led by QB Drew Brees was amazing, to say the least. Brees was only the second QB in history to throw for over 5,000 yards, behind Hall of Famer Dan Marino. With an offensive assortment of weapons like Marques Colston and Devery Henderson and a great screen game with Reggie Bush, it's hard to find a weakness in this unit.
Their special teams game was not lacking either. Reggie Bush is great in the return game and a threat to take it to the house anytime he's back to receive the kick. This team shows no true flaws and it's no wonder why they look to be a lock to win the NFC South for a second year in a row.
To make things better for the Saints, the upcoming 2010 schedule for them isn't exactly a gauntlet. They have the 27th hardest schedule according to NFL.com. The upcoming season has them facing the NFC West and the AFC North. While the AFC North has some competitive teams, I don't believe that any team in that division can truly hang with them in an offensive shootout.
When a team dominated by such a large margin of victory last year only to have another easy schedule to follow, its not a far shot to think if they can repeat as Super Bowl victors. All the other top competitive teams in the NFC seem to have some serious flaws right now as well.
Minnesota, considered to be the prime competition for New Orleans this season, is missing its top receiver for the first half of the season. Not to mention, Brett Favre's ankle is still an issue. With his age, it's not looking like it will get better before it gets worse.
Dallas can't seem to shake this offensive funk that it has fallen into. Their aging offensive line has started to develop injuries which can be a serious problem going down the stretch. Their offensive line was the downfall the past few years and they haven't really infused it with the needed youth to continue to compete deep into the postseason.
The one team I do see possibly causing some real problems would be Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers and company do have a great offensive unit and a decent run game. Their defense is young in the front seven, but I do see the secondary being a possible issue. While Green Bay has Woodson back there, the rest of the secondary does seem to have health issues and I can see this being a problem again this season.
If you put it all together, it's not a crazy idea to think that New Orleans can repeat. They're stacked from top to bottom and don't have any truly glaring weakness right now. The offense looks to be in sync, the defense is flying to the ball, and they look just as hungry as they did last year.
While they won't be sneaking up on teams, I don't think they'll need to. They have enough firepower to make all the noise they want and it's going to be hell to try and stop them.
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