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TheOak 09-02-2012 05:42 AM

New Orleans Saints season could go either way
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Here's six reasons for New Orleans Saints fans to be optimistic, and six reasons for them not to be:
Why fans should be optimistic:

1. The Superdome
New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo should give New Orleans Saints plenty of reasons for optimism about the upcoming season.
Former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs referred to the concrete-and-steel fortress on Poydras Street as "the Bermuda Triangle" last season for the effect it has on opponents. The Saints were unbeaten at home last season and outscored opponents by a remarkable 23.25 points a game. Moreover, they trailed for just 12:46 of a possible 480 minutes in the final seven home games. If the Saints can run the table again, they'll go a long way toward matching last season's success.

2. The Defense
It can't be worse, can it? The Saints had their moments a year ago. But when they really needed to make a play the past two postseasons they couldn't rise to the occasion. By all accounts, new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's scheme will be less predictable and sounder over the course of a season.

3. Bountygate
The NFL's draconian sanctions have given the club motivational fuel. Spygate similarly galvanized the Patriots in 2007. The Saints might not go 16-0, but their us-against-the-world mentality should give them the edge they'll need to stay ahead in a hyper-competitive NFC race.

Why fans should be pessimistic:

1. The Schedule
Serendipity was on the Saints' side last season. The club played 11 games in domed stadiums and none in cold-weather conditions. They drew the weak NFC West and AFC South in the schedule rotation. The Saints played four games against the five NFL teams that won four or fewer games last season. They won't be so fortunate this go-round. The powerful NFC East and improved AFC West, which is bolstered by the addition of Peyton Manning, are on tap. The Saints' schedule goes from .441 opponents' winning percentage to .504. That's a three-game difference.

2. The Law of Averages
We'll look back on the 2011 season as one that got away. The Saints set several NFL and team records for offensive proficiency. They gained more yards and first downs and had fewer fumbles than any team in NFL history. Moreover, their 13-3 record matched the best in club history. Common sense says those thresholds will be unattainable in back-to-back seasons.

3. Bountygate
Who knows what kind of effect losing the head coach, linebackers coach, general manager, defensive captain and best pass rusher will have on the won-lost record. Maybe the Saints are talented and driven enough to overcome it. But you have to think it will have some kind of residual effect.

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New Orleans Saints season could go either way - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News -

homerj07 09-03-2012 07:12 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints season could go either way
This season can go either way. I don't have a good feel for the team

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