2007 New Orleans Saints Preview

2007 New Orleans Saints preview from MadduxSports.com. Once the football campaign kicks off order our winning picks on NFL games. as well as bookmark the NFL point spreads page so you can assure yourself the best line on every nfl bet you make.

Sean Payton Adds More Toys to Play With
By Adam Barone

Last season was the best in quite some time for the Saints, who rode their new quarterback, Drew Brees, and their new high powered offense to the NFC Championship game. It appeared that the Saints made the right choice with Brees over Daunte Culpepper, with Culpepper going to the Miami Dolphins and turning out to be a bust. Brees seemed to recover from arm surgery better than anyone expected and found chemistry with a relatively unknown receiving corps which included WR's Joe Horn, Devery Henderson, Terrance Copper, rookie TE/WR Marques Colston, rookie RB/WR Reggie Bush and others. Brees totaled 4418 yards and 26 TD's with just 11 INT's. The team used their first round pick, #27 overall, to select WR Robert Meachem out of Tennessee as a replacement for the departed Joe Horn, who signed as a free agent with Atlanta. Many scouts thought that Meachem had the best combination of speed, size and hands in the entire draft, aside from, of course, #2 overall pick Calvin Johnson. Meachem should be the #2 receiver alongside Colston this season; the Saints hope he'll earn the job early on.

The running back position in New Orleans received about as much attention as any one position in the entire NFL going into 2006 because everyone had an eye on Reggie Bush. Fans wanted to see how the team would use him, and how he'd work into the offense alongside incumbent RB Deuce McAllister. Bush turned out to be the prefect toy for head coach Sean Payton, who showed how much he loves to find uses for as many different dynamic athletes as possible on offense. McAllister and Bush seemed to co-exist perfectly behind Brees, with Deuce taking 244 carries and 30 receptions and Reggie earning 155 rush attempts versus 88 receptions. They combined for 18 total TD's, and most importantly, kept defenses and oddsmakers guessing. Expect them to put up equally impressive numbers this season with McAllister topping 1000 yards on the ground again.

One of the more soft-spoken defenses, the Saints have no superstar defenders, only hard workers who get the job done. The most dynamic player on the defense is former Ohio State Buckeye DE Will Smith. Smith has gotten progressively better over his first three NFL seasons with 7.5, 8.5 and 10.5 sacks from '04-'06. He'll be 26 when the season starts and should be entering the best years of his career.

Overall the Saints ranked 11th as a defense in 2006, 3rd against the pass and 23rd against the run. The Saints did very little in free agency or the draft to address their troubles defending the run, which may be a problem for them in '07. If their opponent is allowed to establish a dominant ground game against them, it won't matter how explosive the Saints' offense is; it won't be on the field enough to make a difference.

2007 New Orleans Saints Predictions

There is no team in the NFC that seems to want to step out ahead of the pack, meaning that anyone could make it to the Super Bowl. In their second year in Payton's system, Drew Brees and his receivers, including new addition Robert Meachem, should be even more difficult to stop simply because defenses will always have so many things to pay attention to. Even in a very tough NFC South, sports picks junkies should keep an eye on the Saints, as they are better now than they were when they lost in the playoffs in January. The “x factor” in the Saints season could be whether division rival Carolina plays to their '05 form or has a repeat of '06.

If you enjoyed reading our New Orleans Saints preview read up on the rest of the NFC South rivals like the Buccaneers, Panthers, and Falcons team previews from Maddux Sports.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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