New Orleans Saints: Game by Game Predictions for the 2022 NFL Season

New Orleans Saints: Game by Game Predictions for the 2022 NFL Season

Wildcard or Division Winner ?

We know the 2022 Saints are going to make the playoffs. The only question is will they win the NFC South or nab a Wildcard spot? Let’s take a look at the season game by game:

Week 1 @Atlanta Falcons (September 11, 12 pm):  Opening the season against your most bitter rival is big. Opening the season against three straight-division opponents is wild. Working out kinks to a new pass game doesn’t hurt the Saints enough. Defense carries them to a win. Saints 24, Falcons 17

Week 2 vs. Tampa Bay Bucs (September 18, 12 pm): In the second leg of the NFC South opening tour, the Saints face the Bucs. 45-year-old Tom Brady is still at the top of his game. No quarterback has done what Brady has done. But no other team has made him feel average more than the Saints since coming to Tampa. Saints 27, Bucs 24

Week 3 @ Carolina Panthers (September 25, 12 pm): The Panthers welcome the Saints to complete the season-opening trifecta of division opponents. They aren’t on the Saints’ level. However, this team can make things tricky. Their offense will be good if Christian McCaffrey is healthy and Baker Mayfield proves himself worthy. Their defense is talented as well. Don’t expect much scoring. Saints 17, Panthers 13

Week 4 vs. Minnesota Vikings (London, England, October 4, 8:30 am): London games are always challenging. Traveling further east and changing time zones throws off your body clock. The Vikings have a two-headed monster at running back and receiver. Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson’s supporting cast includes a tough defense. This will be a who scores last game. Vikings 34, Saints 28

Week 5 vs. Seattle Seahawks (October 9, 12 pm): The Seahawks are a rudderless ship. Geno Smith and Drew Lock are their quarterbacks. The once vaunted “Legion of Boom” is no longer potent. Pete Carroll will bring his team to play, but they aren’t good enough to stop the Saints. The offense got going last week and continues this week. Saints 30, Seahawks 17

Week 6 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (October 16, 12 pm): Coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the Bengals may have gotten better. Here’s another potential shootout. The offense is rolling, but the defense will be put to a different test. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase successfully return to their old stomping grounds. Bengals 28, Saints 24

Week 7 @ Arizona Cardinals (October 20, 7:15 pm): The Saints have been really good in prime-time games. A Thursday night game against Kyler Murray is enough to stress a defense out. This defense gets back on track here. Head Coach Dennis Allen will devise a scheme to slow Murray and company down. Points will be at a premium. Saints 20, Cardinals 13

Week 8 vs. Las Vegas Raiders (October 30, 12 pm): Dereck Carr and Davante Adams are reunited. The former college teammates are at the core of the Raiders’ offense. Their new coach, Josh McDaniels, will have fun with his new toys. This game isn’t one of them. Saints get it done with proper rest. Saints 34, Raiders 24

Week 9 vs. Ravens (November 7, 7:15 pm): Lamar Jackson comes to town for Monday Night Football. The former league MVP is playing under the franchise tag after not getting an extension. He’s playing with a chip on his shoulder. The teams will go back and forth. Lamar will do some Lamar-type stuff, and Justin Tucker wins it with no time left. Ravens 30, Saints 28

Week 10 @ Pittsburgh Steelers (November 13, 12 pm): A seething Saints team comes into Pittsburgh looking to get back on track. Kenny Pickett is now their starter, as the losses have piled up. The Steelers have turned to their future quarterback and given him the keys. The Saints’ defense takes out their frustration and returns to the win column. Saints 23, Steelers 10

Week 11 vs. Los Angeles Rams (November 20, 12 pm): The defending Super Bowl champs roll onto the scene of the crime. Saints’ fans remember just like Pepperidge Farms! Too bad this Saints team is inconsistent. The Rams will make the playoffs because they’re that talented. This will be the game where they wake up and go on a run. Rams 26, Saints 21

Week 12 @ San Francisco 49ers (November 27, 3:25 pm): Trey Lance is still the starter by this game. He’s showing signs of being the man. Again, Dennis Allen’s defense frustrates another young quarterback. This 49ers defense is legit and gives the Saints’ offense fits. Another tough win. Saints 17, 49ers 9

Week 13 @ Tampa Bay Bucs (December 5, 7:15 pm): By now, Tom Brady is showing signs of being a 45-year-old quarterback. His issues are physical as well as mental. The Bucs are struggling but still capable. They’ll make the playoffs off talent alone. Brady’s inevitable retirement is much closer now. Saints make a statement. Saints 38, Bucs 20

Week 14 Bye: A late-season bye week helps this team recover. Nagging injuries get nursed. Coaches make adjustments. Players get some time off just before Christmas. A bye after a statement game late in the season does them good for the stretch run.

Week 15 vs. Atlanta Falcons (December 18, TBD): By now, Desmond Ridder is the Falcons’ starter. Their season is lost. They’re playing out the strings and prepping for the offseason. The Saints are coming off a bye and looking to secure the division title. I expect this one to get ugly! Saints 41, Falcons 9

Week 16 @ Cleveland Browns (December 24, 12 pm): Christmas Eve football in Cleveland? Don’t mind if I do! The Browns have Deshaun Watson back at quarterback. He continues to struggle in one of his first games in almost two years. The Saints’ defense is tested, but the offense comes to the rescue. Saints will escape and win in the snow. Saints 16, Browns 13

Week 17 @ Philadelphia Eagles (January 1, 12 pm): Jalen Hurts is making a push to be a Pro Bowler. He’s having an off-brand Lamar Jackson MVP-type season. Not quite as dominant, but very effective. The Eagles are making a push for the playoffs. The Saints have their division locked up but want that playoff bye. Saints 23, Eagles 19

Week 18 vs. Carolina Panthers (January 8, 12 pm): With the division in hand, I expect the Saints to still compete for the playoff bye. Here’s where that Rams loss hurts. They could’ve rested their players had they won that game. They have to play their stars for most of the game. Towards the end, they realize the Rams are going to win. They pull their stars, but the backups still pull out a win. Saints 30, Panthers 20

Final Prediction 13-4: Saints lock up the number two seed due to losing the tiebreaker to the Rams. They established their defense as one of the most feared in the league. Jameis Winston shows the league he’s a viable starter on a good team. While he’s capable of the big play, he plays more of a game manager role this season. The defense leads, while the offense plays a complementary role. The passing game takes some time to get on track and develop chemistry. In the meantime, the run game sets up the pass. As the season progresses, the passing attack starts setting up the run. This is the Saints, so expect unexpected losses and crazy wins.

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