3 things to watch for in 2022
1. Jameis Winston is the starter, but Andy Dalton is his backup. Dalton has looked good so far in camp. The most popular guy in town is always the backup QB when the starter isn’t a true franchise guy. Some fans have a “Red Rifle Agenda”, but I wouldn’t expect to see him unless Winston is hurt. Taysom Hill has been moved to tight end, but may still be used on gadget plays.
2. Alvin Kamara isn’t expected to be suspended until the 2023 season due to the court dates for his assault charge in Vegas this past offseason. Couple this with Michael Thomas being healthy and having a chip on his shoulder and Chris Olave providing a deep threat they haven’t had since Devery Henderson, this offense should be pretty damn good.
3. This defense could actually be better than it has over the last few years. Adding Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye to replace Marcus Williams at safety was huge. However, since Maye got arrested, P.J. Williams and J.T. Gray could be counted on should Maye get suspended. That was magnified when the team traded C.J. Gardner-Johnson to Philly due to a contract extension impasse. Former 1st round pick Payton Turner will be in the rotation along the defensive line since he’s healthy, as is Marcus Davenport. Davenport is looking for n extension, so look for a big year from him.
Game of the year will be week 13 against the Bucs and Tom Brady. By then, these two teams will be fighting for NFC South supremacy. Dark horse is week 6 vs the Bengals with former LSU greats Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Cahse coming back to LA.
Most books have their O/U on wins around 8.5 for the season. It’s reasonable considering they don’t have a true franchise quarterback, key new additions, guys coming off injuries, and no Sean Payton.
I see a 10-7 or 11-6 season from the Saints. Thomas is healthy and has Olave to stretch the field. Winston was solid before getting hurt last season. But most of all, Dennis Allen is the head coach and still oversees that vaunted defense.