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Marshawn Lynch gave me the greatest sleep of my life the night he owned the Saints defense. I didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the playoffs.
Experts and analysts everywhere were so thrilled with the Saints’ draft that they are a huge contender for the Super Bowl, but there is a chance that nothing has really changed in New Orleans and they have the same problems in different packaging.
The Saints can pass the ball. It is as guaranteed as the sun coming up in the morning. Unfortunately, the best passing game only gets a team to 8-8, or in last season’s case a humiliating defeat to the Seahawks.
The Saints don’t run the ball and haven’t since Deuce McAllister left. They drafted Reggie Bush, but he’s never been a NFL running back, but more a diversion and may not be back next season. Now they drafted Mark Ingram who is clearly a running back, but the big question is can the Saints use him. There is more to a running game than just handing off the ball. The Saints need to prove that they can be a balanced offense and succeed.
Another major problem is the defense. The defense was a huge question mark all season and in the end looked like a high school team when the Saints needed them most. They go out and draft Cameron Jordan to help with the defensive line. The question is will he make a difference?
Hasselbeck owned the defensive secondary and Jordan isn’t the best of pass rushers in a 4-3 defense. Lynch took on 8 defenders, how would Jordan be different? Did the Saints address needs? Yes. The thing is that it may not be enough and the team’s time to shine may have come and gone until another 40 years comes around.
The biggest problem for the Saints is the one facing the Bears. The Falcons might be the top dog now. Tampa Bay made leaps and bounds to becoming a contender last season. The Giants just got ten times better through the Draft. Dallas will have Romo back. If the Saints don’t win the division, they could be done and will be scratching their heads until 2012.
I am not saying that these five teams will not make the playoffs and free agency could easily shift the tides in their favor. These five teams are just those who people should hold off on guaranteeing as playoff teams because each team has big weaknesses that can be exploited and each team will have new and improved competition that they may not be able to overcome.