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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By SHELDON MICKLES Advocate sportswriter Published: Jul 1, 2007 - Page: 1C As can be expected, the New Orleans Saints are getting lots of play after making believers out of many in 2006. The Saints, who were picked to finish ...

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Old 07-04-2007, 06:57 PM   #1
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Predictions

By SHELDON MICKLES
Advocate sportswriter
Published: Jul 1, 2007 - Page: 1C


As can be expected, the New Orleans Saints are getting lots of play after making believers out of many in 2006. The Saints, who were picked to finish last in the NFC South a year ago when they were coming off a 3-13 season, are as hot as the weather after winning the division title, earning a first-round playoff bye and making it to the NFC Championship game.

After falling one game short of Super Bowl XLI, three publications — Lindy’s, Pro Football Weekly and Street & Smith’s — are predicting second-year coach Sean Payton and his Saints will take the next step and reach the Super Bowl.

That’s the good news. The bad news is all three say the Saints will lose Super Bowl XLII. Lindy’s has the Saints falling to the Baltimore Ravens, while Pro Football Weekly and Street & Smith’s call for the New England Patriots to top the Saints.

In a survey of those three magazines, as well as those published by The Sporting News and Athlon Sports, the Saints are tabbed as a unanimous pick to become the first NFC South member to claim back-to-back titles since the division was created in 2002.

The Saints are one of five teams seen as unanimous division winners. Joining them as fashionable picks are the Patriots (AFC East), the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts (AFC South), San Diego Chargers (AFC West) and Chicago Bears (NFC North).

Not surprisingly for a team that’s been pegged as a Super Bowl contender, the Saints are highly regarded in several areas by Lindy’s and Pro Football Weekly in their rankings of various aspects of the game as well as players at their respective positions.

For example, Lindy’s ranks the Saints as the top team in the NFC and third in the 32-team league in its overall ratings — a compilation of the ratings at each position and for coaching (points are awarded on a 1 to 10 basis for each of nine categories with an intangible factored in).

The Saints’ total score of 71.5 put them behind only the Colts (74.0) and Ravens (73.0).

In a section entitled NFL’s Best, where it ranks individuals at several positions as well as specific units, Lindy’s is especially high on the Saints offense — which topped the NFL in total yards a year ago.

Lindy’s ranks the Saints passing game, which is led by All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees, as the third-best in the league behind the Patriots and Colts.

“Drew Brees has finally etched his name among the elite,” the magazine says. “The addition of (wide receiver) Robert Meachem and (tight end) Eric Johnson provide additional weapons, while Reggie Bush proves a tough matchup for any player on the other side of the ball.”

Lindy’s ranks Brees as the fourth-best quarterback behind Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Carson Palmer, and young Marques Colston as the sixth-best wide receiver in the league — ahead of established stars like Chad Johnson and Steve Smith.

It also ranks Mark Campbell, Johnson and Billy Miller as the best tight-end trio in the NFC.

Pretty interesting that Lindys, PFW, and S & S have N.O. going, wonder what there track record is on S.B. picks.

If A equals success, then the formula is this
A = X + Y + Z
X is work
Y is play
Z is keep your mouth shut
-Albert Einstein
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Old 07-04-2007, 07:45 PM   #2
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To be honest...All this hype for success is starting to scare me a bit. I agree with it, but, I guess, I'm just not used to postive hype as bringing anything but disappointment.
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Old 07-04-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Yes!

Thought maybe I was the only one. I have faith dont get me wrong, hopefully Payton's funeral will leave them focused on this year than in last years success.
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:22 PM   #4
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Its pretty much a no brainer if you want to crown a SB champ before the season begins. There is 3 teams Ravens, Colts, and Pats. Pats seemed to be favored though and should be. Out of the NFC well on paper you have to see the Saints only got better and no other team in the NFC made big oves to get better.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ScottyRo View Post
To be honest...All this hype for success is starting to scare me a bit. I agree with it, but, I guess, I'm just not used to postive hype as bringing anything but disappointment.
I'm hapier when we're underdogs, but you've got to admit they're not wrong. This team WILL make the Super Bowl.

I have FAITH and I know everyone on this board does too. This is our year, enjoy it.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:28 PM   #6
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Yes, alot of fans are happier when we're the underdogs because we always have been. As for me, I am going to relish every damn second of being favored to go to the superbowl and actually making it, buying a ticket for $3,000.00 and painting a fleur-di-lis on my chest and showing it off to the entire world for about 12 hours on superbowl Sunday.
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:31 AM   #7
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What's encouraging to me is the depth that they've quietly built during this off season. To be able to keep these guys fresh throughout the season will go a long way towards preventing some injuries.
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:49 AM   #8
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I've been waiting for the Saints to get some respect for a long time, and now that they finally do have some I'll have to learn to put some trust in the fact that they won't let me down.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:02 PM   #9
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I have even more bad news. These magazines almost never get their predictions right. So it looks like the saints will have to wait another year before they have a shot at going to the big dance.
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:40 PM   #10
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so i guess all the ones who picked the colts were wrong.....on the contrary the ones who picked carolina were dead off huh???
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