After a disheartening 0-2 start, the Saints have won seven straight games and are looking like the best team in the NFL. The surge of their high scoring offense (which everyone saw coming), their suffocating defense (which no one saw coming), and their uncharacteristically sufficient special teams have them in the top five of NFL.com’s power rankings for the first time in a long while. Obviously, the Saints’ sudden rise means one thing: The Saints are definitely going to win the Super Bowl (knock on wood).
The Saints have the best offense in the league (knock on wood).
The Saints are top five in the league in both passing yards per game (5th) and rushing yards per game (3rd). The only other teams in the top five of both those categories are—oh, it’s nobody?
That’s right. The Saints are the only team in the NFL near the top of both categories. Their proficiency in both passing and rushing offense means the Saints have a unique skillset among NFL offenses; they can beat you any way they want.
Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, the Saints’ two running backs, are both in the top ten in the NFL for rushing touchdowns. Brees is 14th in passing touchdowns, but likely because he is resting his arm for the playoffs. Even Adrian Peterson has done well since the Saints dealt him to the Cardinals. I guess the Saints rubbed off on him after all.
The Saints are also tops in the NFL in yards per play and fourth down conversion percentage, two stats that correlate strongly with playoff success (probably).
The Saints have the best defense in the league (knock on wood).
“They’re eighth in yards allowed and fifth in points allowed per game, why are you arguing that they’re the best?”
Uh, because they are.
The Saints are top ten in sacks, forced fumbles, and interceptions, as well as fumbles returned for touchdowns and interceptions returned for touchdowns. That’s pretty good.
Rookie (I’ll say again: Rookie) Marshon Lattimore is currently the highest rated cornerback in the league in Pro Football Focus’ player rankings. Defensive line star Cameron Jordan is rated 5thin the league among edge defenders. Linebacker Manti Te’o is both the ninth leading tackler on the team, and an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Saints have the best defense in the league not because they’re “first” in “statistics” “indicative” of “defensive skill.” They’re first because they haven’t lost in seven games. The defense has held the other team to fewer points than the Saints scored. That’s what matters, because that’s what supports my narrative.
The Saints have uncharacteristically sufficient special teams (knock on wood).
On November 5th, special teamer Justin Hardee blocked, recovered, and returned a Buccaneers punt for a touchdown. Conversely, the Saints haven’t given up any return touchdowns so far this season. I’d call that sufficient.
The Saints are going to win the Super Bowl (knock on wood).
Alvin Kamara is heading toward the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award (knock on wood). Marshon Lattimore has all but locked down the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award (knock on wood). Drew Brees is on a beeline toward his second Super Bowl MVP award (knock on wood). The Saints are marching in toward their second championship (knock on wood).
*Writer’s Note: If the Saints don’t win it all this year, looking back on this article is going to be painful.