Every team will always undergo their “down years” where they struggle to win games and fail to qualify for the playoffs. The New Orleans Saints at one point were one of the powerhouses of the NFC. When Sean Payton was hired as the team’s head coach in 2006, the team also signed Drew Brees to a contract as well and these two together have definitely put New Orleans Saints football back on the map and they’ve accomplished a lot together. The Saints won a Super Bowl and helped a city rebound after some very trying times. This team hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2013 season and some were saying that it could be time to rebuild and Sean Payton could be on his way out as head coach. 2017 has been wonderful to these guys. After a rough 0-2 start, the Saints are winners of six games in a row and in first place in the NFC South.

The big move that had everyone talking was the free agent signing of Adrian Peterson and as soon as it happened, I wasn’t necessarily on board with it and I didn’t think he and Drew could mesh with one another because I’ve referred to them both as “volume football players” meaning that each guy has to touch the ball to have some type of impact. Drew needs to throw the ball at least 35 times a game or a little less for the Saints to have a chance and Adrian needed to carry the football at least 25-30 times. It didn’t work out and the Saints ended up trading him to the Arizona Cardinals. That move right there was definitely the best thing that could’ve happened to them and it was a blessing in disguise for Mark Ingram who’s had a great season and Alvin Kamara who is a perfect fit for this offense. He’s used in a Darren Sproles like capacity, but he’s a better runner out the backfield than Darren was. At 38 years old, Drew has shown no signs of slowing down and he plays smarter which has allowed him to play better at an advanced age in the NFL. These offensive weapons aren’t household names, but they’re productive and we know who they are because of playing with a future Hall Of Famer. Coby Fleener, Michael Thomas, Willie Snead and Ted Ginn have become a solid and formidable receiving core.

The biggest improvement has been their defense and I never thought I’d say defense and the Saints in the same sentence because of their struggles in recent years, but that’s definitely not the issue this year as they are better at defending the pass and preventing the other team from pushing the football down the field, they struggle to shut down the run at times, but they still make stops when they need too and they get pressure on the quarterback and at one time, they were once the unit that would get dominated off the line of scrimmage four and five yards per play. Last year, they had the worst defense in the league by far because whenever the offense would score late in games, teams always found a way to march down the field and punch the ball in the end zone. That hasn’t been the case this year as their defense has closed out some games for them during this winning streak.