New Orleans Saints 2008 NFL Projection:
The Saints are a popular rebound pick heading into 2008. After last season’s slow start, New Orleans
made an exciting dash that had them in contention for the postseason near the end of last season,
but it wasn’t enough as the Saints finished below the .500 mark.
With the promise of a high powered offense bolstered by the addition of tight end Jeremy Shockey
and the improved play this preseason of WR Robert Meachem,
Saints’ fans are excited about the new campaign.
However, there are some often overlooked reasons why the Saints finished
(7-9) last year. For example, their rushing offense was ranked 28th in the league no thanks to
McAllister missing 13 games. Furthermore, the Saints
were 30th in the league defending the pass.
So what have the Saints done to improve these problem areas this off-season?
For starters, they added Randall Gay from New England to play right corner.
Gay is a key addition, especially considering
left corner Mike McKenzie is coming off a knee injury.
Can McKenzie get back to his past
For that matter, can Deuce do the same?
There are no guarantees, and so the Saints could once again be weak defending the pass, as well
as be weak in the running game.
Complicating the running game weakness is the departure of center Jeff Faine. The Saints think
Goodwin can step in. But unfortunately, Faine signed with division rival Tampa Bay. And he is sure to
improve the Bucs’ running game comparatively to that of New Orleans.
While the Saints have very good pass blockers upfront, there is much to be desired when it comes
to run blocking.
We think the loss of Faine will sting in more ways that one.
Moving back to the defense, New Orleans also picked up linebacker Jonathan Vilma from the Jets.
He should help assuming his own recovery from an ’07 season ending knee injury goes well.
On the defensive line the Saints added pass rusher Bobby McCray from Jacksonville and drafted
defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis from USC… The Saints will depend on Ellis for a lot in 2008
as DT Hollis Thomas has been lost for 8 weeks with a triceps injury– a serious detriment
to the Saints’ run D, which was the strong point of the defense.
New Orleans will play just 5 games against teams that made the playoffs in ’07.
As you can see New Orleans’ first two games are versus playoff teams from last season, Both had solid running games
a year ago.
With the injury to Thomas, New Orleans could have a tough time stopping ground games in the first half of the season
resulting in another hole to climb out of.
The Saints have a lot riding on players recovering from season ending injuries in ’07.
And while New Orleans looks to be strong again in the passing game, the same can’t be said
for their rushing attack. Making matters worse as anyone in Who Dat Nation will probably admit– is a defense that projects to be weak
defending the run and the pass, already missing
one of its studs (Thomas).
The passing game may only take the Saints so far. Overall we now predict a record of (8-8) for the
2008 New Orleans Saints– a slight downgrade before the regular season gets underway. Projections on this page will be frozen
once the season begins. To track rolling standings projections throughout the season visit
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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