The New Orleans Saints had a rough year in 2021. As they were rolling along at 5-2, they lost their starting quarterback. Alvin Kamara got hurt as well, and Michael Thomas never saw the field. Despite the adversity, they managed a 9-8 record and would have made the playoffs if not for the Los Angeles Rams losing in Week 17 to the San Francisco 49ers.
The offseason has been a mixed bag. Sean Payton stepped away, which was a serious blow. However, longtime defensive coordinator Dennis Allen steps in. The Saints selected wide receiver, Chris Olave in the first round while also bringing in hometown boy Jarvis Landry. There is much going on in the Big Easy, so let’s bring on some bold predictions for the Saints in 2022.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Bold Predictions.
The Saints Defense Leads the NFL in Sacks
This is going to be a dangerous unit in 2022. Cameron Jordan is the mainstay on the end and had his sixth season of double-digit sacks last year with 12.5. Former first-round pick, Marcus Davenport set his career-high with nine sacks in 2021, and that was in only 11 games. Second-year players Pete Werner and Payton Turner will be in the rotation more, and a full season of David Onyemata in the middle should help. This defense finished just nine sacks behind the NFL-leading Pittsburgh Steelers last season (55-46). This year they step it up and push 60.
Alvin Kamara has 2,000 Yards from Scrimmage
We all know Kamara has the talent to accomplish this. With a full 17 games of health and somewhat normal usage, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. The Saints versatile back has averaged 5.8 yards per touch and 17.6 touches per game during his five-year career. If we just increase that to 19 touches and six yards per touch, we have 1,938 yards from scrimmage. If the New Orleans defense is playing well, Kamara’s usage should tick up a bit.
Jameis Winston has 40 Total Touchdowns
Winston scored 15 touchdowns (14 passing, 1 rushing) last year in seven games. If we prorate that to 17 games that gives us 36.42 scores. That was without any sort of receiving crew aside from Kamara. Enter into 2022. Winston could have a healthy Thomas, new addition Landry, and rookie Olave as options to throw the rock to. Of course, he still has Kamara and speedster Deonte Harris. We shouldn’t expect many rushing touchdowns, but Winston did run more times and more efficiently in 2021 than he did in any other season aside from 2018.
The Saints Get the Number One Seed in the NFC
Some “experts” don’t even think the Saints will win the division, but let’s get real. The Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons don’t scare anyone. Tom Brady is back with Tampa Bay, however New Orleans has had Tommy’s number in the regular season the past two years including handing him his first shutout in 17 years in 2021. Ironically, that game was under fill-in head coach Allen at the time. The Buccaneers will be good, but the Saints have a deeper squad, and when healthy have more weapons. The Saints take the top seed in the NFC at 14-3.
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