New Orleans Saints

Bold prediction: New Orleans Saints will make the playoffs

Saints QB Drew Brees record-setting year isn’t over yet

Saints quarterback Drew Brees became the all-time NFL passing leader in 2018 to add to his many NFL records. Now he is going for his second Super Bowl.
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Saints quarterback Drew Brees became the all-time NFL passing leader in 2018 to add to his many NFL records. Now he is going for his second Super Bowl.

The naysayers are in full bloom. The doubting Thomases are out en masse. Murphy’s Law — Anything That Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong — seems to be gaining momentum as training camp fast approaches.

Some believe the 2019 New Orleans Saints will not fulfill their Super Bowl aspirations. That 40-year-old Drew Brees is a descending quarterback. And the Black and Gold will fall victim to the NFC Championship runner-up “curse’‘ and miss the playoffs altogether.

I don’t share those beliefs.

Nor do the gaming casinos I value most, notably Bovada, which lists the Saints among the favorites to win Super Bowl LIV at +850, meaning for every $100 wagered you’d win $850 if the Black and Gold hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

First, let’s deal with Brees’ age. Critics point to his declining production at the end of last season, particularly the last four games of the regular season when he threw as many INTs as TDs (3) and some of his deeper throws missed the mark.

In other words, he was showing his age. More succinctly, maybe his bionic right throwing shoulder was showing the wear and tear of 13 NFL seasons after being rebuilt by venerable orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in January 2006.

Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe, he’s lost some zip on his fastball. Maybe, he can’t stretch the field like he once could. But Drew Brees can still outwit, out-prepare, outplay and pick apart a defense with uncanny regularity, certainly better than most of the younger quarterbacks playing today.

Nobody takes better care of himself physically and mentally than No. 9. Yes, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady turns 42 on Aug. 3 and continues to play at an elite level as evidenced by his unprecedented six Super Bowl championship rings.

Brady’s record speaks for itself. So does Brees’ record.

With regards to the aforementioned “curse,’‘ the Saints will be trying to become the first NFC Championship runner-up to make the postseason the following year since the 2015 season. The 2018 Minnesota Vikings, the 2017 Green Bay Packers and the 2016 Arizona Cardinals were unable to make the playoffs after playing for the conference championship the previous year.

I can’t promise the Saints will win Super Bowl LIV, or even play for the league title. But I assure you the Saints will make the playoffs and end this alleged curse.

You can take that to the bank, or the gaming casino, or the OTB of your choice.

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