Alright, now that Hurricane Gustav is out of the way and things are starting to get back to normal, it’s time for the season prediction of the New Orleans Saints.
Week 1: Tampa Bay
The Saints will return to New Orleans for this emotional game. After being swept last season by the Buccaneers, the Saints get their revenge and start off the season on a winning note after beginning last season with four consecutive losses. This will be a close one with the Saints getting off to an early lead, only to watch it get close towards the end. Saints win 24-23.
Season record: 1-0
Week 2: at Washington
The new look Redskins will have some trouble against the Saints in all areas of the game. Though this game will start off close, maybe even tied going into halftime, but the Saints will pull away early in the third quarter and never look back. Saints win 37-20.
Season record: 2-0
Week 3: at Denver
The Saints will be in a very close game throughout. This will be a match-up of possibly two undefeated teams, though Denver might be coming off of its first loss against San Diego. But Jay Cutler will beat the Saints secondary more than most. Saints lose: 38-24.
Season record: 2-1
Week 4: San Francisco
Former Saints' quarterback J. T. O’Sullivan returns as the starter of the 49ers, but the young team will struggle against the Saints. The score will not match the domination by the Saints for all four quarters. Saints win: 38-20.
Season record: 3-1
Week 5: Minnesota
This will be the Saints first true test of their new look front seven. If the Saints can get off to an early lead, and take Adrian Peterson out of the game, they could win this one easily. But the Vikings’ defense will keep the Saints in check for most of the game. This one will be won in the fourth quarter. Saints win 26-23.
Season record: 4-1
Week 6: Oakland
This game won’t be even close, as Saints' fans get their first look at back-up quarterback Mark Brunell and the second team offense in the fourth quarter. Saints win 45-19.
Season record: 5-1
Week 7: at Carolina
This game will be closer than it should, as the Saints look ahead to their game overseas against the Chargers. The Saints slip up in this one for their first upset of the season. Saints lose 24-20.
Season record: 5-2
Week 8: San Diego (at London, England)
If this one were played in the Superdome, it would be the biggest home game of the season. Instead, the game was moved to London.
It will be a battle on the field, as the Saints and Chargers will go into halftime all tied up. But it will be the Chargers who pull away in the end because they will have the better defense at the end of the game. Saints lose back to back games for the first time in the season. Saints lose 38-31.
Season record: 5-3
Week 10: at Atlanta
Coming off of the bye week has never been good to the Saints historically. But against their arch-rivals who are rebuilding, this game will show a little rust for the Saints in the first quarter before pulling away. Saints win 38-14.
Season record: 6-3
Week 11: at Kansas City
The Saints, who by now have not played a game at home in a month, will take out their aggression on the ill-prepared Chiefs. Saints win 42-7.
Season record: 7-3
Week 12: Green Bay
The Saints return home for Monday Night Football after five weeks of road games. This game will be close; this game could go to overtime. But in the end, the Saints will remain perfect at home. Saints win 27-24.
Season record: 8-3
Week 13: at Tampa Bay
This will be a marquee game for the lead in the NFC South division and will probably be moved to Sunday Night Football because of it. But the Saints will falter and both teams will either end up being tied for the division lead or with the Saints a game ahead. Saints lose 25-22.
Season record: 8-4
Week 14: Atlanta
This one will be a bigger blow out than the earlier match-up. Saints win 44-17.
Season record: 9-4
Week 15: at Chicago
It still remains unseen as to why the Saints cannot get the Bears at home instead of another late season game in Chicago. The Saints still cannot find their groove in the cold or in Chicago for that matter, but it will be closer than the previous two games they have played. Saints lose 23-20.
Season record: 9-5
Week 16: at Detroit
With offensive coordinator Mike Martz gone, the Lions offense will be dismal. The Saints will overrun and overpass the young team to a victory and clinch a playoff birth. Saints win 33-10.
Season record: 10-5
Week 17: Carolina
This game will be for the division and possible first round bye in the playoffs. The Saints will not over look the Panthers this time around. The Saints clinch the NFC South championship for the second time in three years and earn themselves the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Saints win 38-14.
Season record: 11-5
Tampa Bay (6) at Minnesota (3)
Philadelphia (5) at San Francisco (4)
Minnesota and Philadelphia win
Philadelphia (5) at Dallas (1)
Minnesota (3) at New Orleans (2)
Philadelphia upsets, New Orleans wins
Philadelphia (5) at New Orleans (2)
New Orleans wins the NFC Championship
NY Jets upset, Indianapolis wins
Indianapolis (5) at San Diego (2)
NY Jets (6) at New England (1)
San Diego wins, NY Jets upset
NY Jets (6) at San Diego (2)
San Diego wins the AFC Championship
SUPER BOWL XLIII
New Orleans vs. San Diego
In a rematch of the London game, the Saints are more prepared than they were during week 8 of the regular season. San Diego will be leading at halftime 23-17, but it will be the Saints who pull ahead in the second half and win their first Super Bowl in team history. Saints win 38-29. Super Bowl MVP: Drew Brees.