Opinions

Saints 2019 Preview: vs the NFC South

So me and some of the boys at Whole Nine Sports have decided to go through every NFL teams projected starting lineup and apply the PFF Grade for last season for all of their players. I have decided to take that information and use it to preview what the Saints could expect out of each match-up next season based on last year’s performances. With that out of the way, here is the Saints team (without Sheldon Rankins) for you to look at for a base of knowledge.

*side note* if you’re super worried about Latavius Murray vs Mark Ingram, just know that Murray put up just a 3.2 lower PFF grade last season

Atlanta Falcons

Face the Saints in Weeks 10 and 13
Positional Averages (difference vs the Saints)

It’s important to note that basically 99% of the Falcons defense was injured last year. We always know that rivalry games usually end up with better performances, but I see some matchups that I can’t wait to see the Saints take advantage of. Two rookie O-Lineman combined with two good O-Lineman and one very average O-Lineman vs the intense DL of the Saints that will have Sheldon Rankins back in action makes my mouth water. Matt Ryan should be running all over the place, while Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith should be doing the opposite. If the WRs not named Michael Thomas can pick it up, they should have no problem picking them apart in the pass game as well.

Carolina Panthers

Face the Saints Weeks 12 and 17
Positional Averages (difference vs the Saints)

Another Offensive Line for the Saints to eat up! I do really like the Matt Paradis pickup for them though. Interesting that the Panthers had no position groups put up a better season (on average) than the Saints, the only NFC South team you can say that for actually.The biggest X-Factors the Saints have to worry about for this game would have to be Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, and Brian Burns. Cam Newton was injured last year, so it’ll be interesting to see if he is finally healthy. CMac is always just gonna be a thorn in any defense’s side. And Burns is just an electrifying prospect, however I expect either Ramczyk or Armstead to be able to handle him. The only thing that scares me about the Panthers secondary is Donte “Action” Jackson’s speed. I hope to see Brees pick apart these defensive backs twice this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Face the Saints Weeks 5 and 11
Positional Averages (difference vs the Saints)

While this team seems to be the one that the Saints players have the most animosity towards (see: Marshon Lattimore vs Jameis and Mike Evans), I have no worries going into this season vs the Bucs. Of course, that means the Saints will probably lose twice to them. The only two players that could throw a wrench into things for me would be OJ Howard and Devin White. White is a player in a long history of LSU players saddening me and being drafted by NFC South teams not named the Saints. I LOVED his college game and think it’ll transfer perfectly into the NFL. OJ Howard is just a beast of an NFL player. Of course Mike Evans is on the team, I have no desire to give him the time of day and evaluate him. The defense seems to be no match for the suspected high flying offense of the Saints.

Follow Dylan on Twitter @DillySanders