New Orleans Saints Betting – Look For Steelers To Push For Super Bowl No.7
The sports betting experts keep waiting for the New Orleans Saints to sink to the bottom of the NFC after winning the Super Bowl two years ago. But when the Saints made the playoffs again last year, the online casino wagering odds were strongly in favor of the Saints winning. The Seattle Seahawks came into last year’s wild card round with the worst record of any division winner and any playoff team in NFL history at 7-9. After losing to the Seahawks, the Saints went back to the sportsbook promo drawing board to address the problems they had all season long.
- Head Coach:Sean Payton
- Offensive Coordinator:Pete Carmichael Jr.
- Defensive Coordinator:Gregg Williams
- Owner:Tom Benson
- Stadium:Louisiana Superdome
- Capacity: 76,468
- Super Bowl Wins: 1
The general consensus among Saints fans and football observers is that the New Orleans running game has always been a fragile thing. As much as Reggie Bush would like to think he can be the every game running back for the Saints, the truth is that he cannot. When Pierre Thomas got injured last season, the Saints tried everything to replace him. Julius Jones proved to be ineffective, and Chris Ivory could not stay healthy. With the New Orleans passing game ranking third in the league, the spotlight on the poor running game was getting brighter.
To address their offensive problems, the Saints drafted running back Mark Ingram in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. Ingram was the only offensive player drafted by the Saints this year, and he could be exactly what the New Orleans backfield needs. Ingram is a powerful runner that carries his 215 pound frame very well. But the Saints will still have to answer the question as to whether or not a rookie can step in and become the full-time back. Chris Ivory may be able to start off the season, but Ivory’s injury history does not point to a full season of work from the running back.
New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves to attack the ball from all angles. When the Saints won the Super Bowl, Williams had all of the tools he needed to get to the quarterback and shut down the run. But in 2010, Williams started to see cracks in his defensive line. Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith were no longer the dominant pair that they used to be. Teams were finding ways to run against the Saints and quarterbacks were not feeling the pressure.
The Saints may have made one of the better first-round picks in the 2011 draft when they took defensive end Cameron Jordan with the 24th overall pick. Hargrove and Smith already have the middle of the line of scrimmage tied up, what they needed was a rusher from the outside with speed and power. That is exactly what Jordan is, and he should make an impact immediately.
The Saints also took defensive back Johnny Patrick in the 2011 draft, which means that Williams is not happy with the playoff Pierson Prioleau and Roman Harper. The Saints need to get more out of their starting secondary, and Williams will be trying new combinations to see what results he gets.
Reggie Bush holds considerable value as a kick returner, but the Saints did not have a single kick or punt return for a touchdown in 2010. That may be one of the reasons Johnny Patrick was drafted as well. The Saints do not have a lot of extra hands to put on special teams considering how many injuries the team seems to sustain on a regular basis. The Saints do have a deep corps of wide receivers that may get more involved in the return game in 2011. Either way, the Saints are still going to be piecing together a special teams unit that will not be game breakers in 2011.
The Saints did an excellent job at addressing their running game issues with the drafting of Mark Ingram. But the offensive line is still a bit suspect as quarterback Drew Brees spent much of the time running for his life. The passing game success in New Orleans is primarily due to Brees, and that should not change. The running game still remains a question mark.
On defense, Jordan was a great pick up and should give Hargrove and Smith the help they need holding down the line of scrimmage. If Gregg Williams can get more production out of his defensive secondary, then the Saints are looking at another playoff berth.
- Week 1 – at Green Bay (Thursday, 8:30 PM ET)
- Week 2 – vs. Chicago (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 3 – vs. Houston (8:20 PM ET)
- Week 4 – at Jacksonville (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 5 – at Carolina (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 6 – at Tampa Bay (4:00 PM ET)
- Week 7 – vs. Indianapolis (8:20 PM ET)
- Week 8 – at St. Louis (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 9 – vs. Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 10 – at Atlanta (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 12 – vs. New York Giants (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
- Week 13 – vs. Detroit (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 14 – at Tennessee (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 15 – at Minnesota (Monday, 1:00 PM ET)
- Week 16 – vs. Atlanta (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
- Week 17 – vs. Carolina (1:00 PM ET)