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2013 New Orleans Saints
Many NFL bettors were very skeptical about how the New Orleans Saints would perform last season since they had so many question marks due to the Bounty Gate Scandal that caused the suspensions of several players, coaches and team personnel. The Saints had an awful start to the season, going 0-4 (1-3 against the spread) before winning five of six (5-1 ATS) to get back to the .500 mark. But New Orleans could not stay on the winning track and faltered down the stretch, going both 2-4 both straight-up and ATS to finish with a 7-9 record and miss the playoffs.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees continued to prove he is one of the league's elite QBs with 5,177 yards through the air to go along with 43 TDs and 19 interceptions, the second straight year he topped the 5,000-yard and 40-TD marks. Wide receiver Marques Colston had his fourth consecutive season of 1,000+ receiving yards, totaling 1,154 receiving yards and a team-high 10 TDs. But he was not the only New Orleans WR with 1,000+ receiving yards, as Lance Moore also hauled in 65 receptions for 1,041 yards and six TDs. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham also had a very nice season as he had a team-high 85 receptions for 982 yards and nine TDs. Second- year running back Mark Ingram was the team's leading rusher with 602 yards and five TDs. New Orleans ranked third in the league in points scored at 28.8 points per contest, but the defense was terrible, giving up 28.4 points per game to rank 31st in the NFL.
One of the team's key priorities this offseason was bringing in a new guy to run the defense after Steve Spagnuolo was fired. Enter former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who was chosen to repair and remodel this miserable defense from a year ago even though he failed to impress in Big D. New Orleans also used its first-round draft pick on safety Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas, and he is super athletic and well-rounded enough in terms of schemes and coverages to immediately give the secondary a boost. Cornerback Keenan Lewis and S Jim Leonhard are welcome additions as well and should only improve a previously poor secondary.
The oddsmakers at 5Dimes have the Saints at O/U 9 wins for this season. One thing that should not go unnoticed is the fact that they will be getting head coach Sean Payton back after missing last season due to a suspension. This team will be rejuvenated and is expected to greatly benefit from having Payton back on the sidelines. New Orleans still has a great receiving corps intact and one of the best interior offensive lines in the league despite losing coach Aaron Kromer to the Chicago Bears. Look for the Saints to win at least 10 games and return to the playoffs.
Recommended Play: OVER 9
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