Is it me or does it seem like it has been an eternity since the Saints suited up for a regular season game? With this being the Saints 50th year, lets take a brief look at the record book.
Seasons: 50 (1967 to 2016)
Record (W-L-T): 331-418-5
Playoff Record: 7-9
Super Bowls Won: 1 (1 Appearance)
Championships Won: 1
All-time Passing Leader: Drew Brees 4,240/6,276 – 48,555 yards – 348 TD
All-time Rushing Leader: Deuce McAllister – 1,429 attempts, 6,096 yards, 49 TD
All-time Receiving Leader: Marques Colston 711 receptions, 9,759 yards, 72 TD
All-time Scoring Leader: Morten Anderson 1,318 points
Winningest Coach: Jim Mora 93-74-0
First Up – the Raiders
The Saints and Raiders haven’t played each other in the regular season since 2012 with the Saints holding the all time edge with 6 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie.
This is not your Mother’s Raiders
This is year two of a massive rebuilding effort by the Raiders, with Carr and Mack the respective leaders of the Raiders offense and defense the Raiders are an up and coming team that has a chance of challenging for an AFC Playoff spot this year.
But what about the Saints:
While the Raiders have been going through a complete makeover the past couple of years, the Saints have been doing it with injections. Gone are the Colston’s and Graham’s replaced by Cook’s, Snead and Ingram to name a few.
On Offense the big question mark is how well will the offensive line hold up? With Evans leaving because the Saints couldn’t afford him the Saints went through pre-season experimenting with different guard combinations that left many wondering if Brees would be able to make it through the season intact. With the re-signing of Evans hopefully the offensive line can retain some sort of stability and give Brees the time he needs to produce as he usually does.
On Defense the big question after last season was if the Saints would be able to stop anybody. From the first step of solidifying the leadership by naming Allen as the defensive coordinator, getting rid of a penalty machine (Browner) and bringing in new blood to the line-backing and defensive line groups plus bringing back Harper to provide depth and leadership to the defensive backfield, the Saints defense is ready to take a giant step forward.
Are there still questions, you bet. Will the Saints start winning the turnover battle, can the defense start getting off the field on 3rd down instead of giving up long, time chewing drives to the opponents? These are just a couple of legitimate questions that need to be answered on the field in the regular season.
So how about it WhoDat’s? Personally I think Payton and the Saints give us a win against the Raiders, it should be a close game but I’m picking the Saints 31-24.
Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab