Friday marked 100 days out from Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, site of the the New Orleans Saints season-opening loss to the home team.
I point this out because the suddenly serendipitous Saints are giving off roman-numeral vibes.
According to Bovada Sports Book, the Saints' current odds are 22/1 to win Super Bowl LII. That places them 10th overall in the NFL, trailing New England (13/4), Philadelphia (7/1), Pittsburgh (15/2), Kansas City (10/1), Seattle (10/1), Atlanta (16/1), Minnesota (16/1), Los Angeles Rams (18/1) and the Dallas Cowboys (20/1).
This marks the Saints best odds since Bovada etablished the opening line the day after New England rallied to beat Atlanta 34-28 in OT in Super Bowl LI.
Here is the progression:
▪ Feb. 6 ... Saints 50/1
▪ March 16 ... Saints 66/1 (after start of free agency)
▪ May 3 ... Saints (33/1) (after the draft)
▪ Sept. 9 ... Saints 50/1 (eve of regular season)
▪ Sept. 27 ... Saints 66/1 (after 0-2 start)
And now, in light of their four-game winning streak going into Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Saints are moving up in the world.
There is more evidence of growing support for the Black and Gold. You may want to sit down for this one.
Remember that laughingstock of a Saints defense that posted historically woeful numbers in 2012-'14-'15- and -'16? Well, no one is laughing now, not since posting a 20-0 shutout of the Miami Dolphins in London in Week 4 and scoring a franchise-record three defensive touchdowns against the Detroit Lions in Week 6.
Some fantasy football sites are actually touting owners to start the Saints Defense/Special Teams against the Bears, largely because of a one-dimensional offense under the direction of rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky who has been given a short leash by coach John Fox when it comes to throwing the football.
Still, just for the Saints defense to be recognized in the world of Fantasy Football is noteworthy, and a major reason why Sean Payton's team is being mentioned in playoff/Super Bowl conversation.
Since yielding a staggering 1,025 total yards and 65 points in season-opening losses to the Vikings and New England, the Saints have been among the league's stingiest defensive units under coordinator Dennis Allen. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Saints have held opponents to the lowest passing rating in the NFL (53.6) and rank among the top four defenses in yards allowed, points allowed and forced turnovers over the past five weeks.
Based on what we saw from the Saints defense in Weeks 1 and 2, the past four games have defied all odds.
Brian Allee-Walsh is a long-time Saints reporter based in New Orleans. He can be reached at email@example.com.