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Are the Saints Real Contenders?

The New Orleans Saints resurgence has been compared to the New York Giants late season surge last year in which they surged all the way to the Super Bowl.  Can the Saints do the same?

The Saints looked like an ugly football team before the season even started.  They were dealing with the Bountygate scandal, Drew Brees was not practicing with the Saints as he was in a contract dispute and the team knew that it would be without its leader Sean Peyton all season.  That ugliness seemed to carry over into the season.  They started 0-4 and the Saints were written off as a fallen team.  Not even Drew Brees could redeem this team.  That is what we all thought anyway.

The Saints have rekindled the fire that was once under this team and in the last six weeks they have fought their way back from the brink and are now contenders for a wild card spot in the playoffs.  Both Drew Brees and Joe Vitt, Interim head coach, have rallied this team and forced them to fall in line to mount a successful comeback.

Brees in particular has returned to form after struggling early on. Over 10 games he has unloaded 28 touchdowns.  He has a near 100 percent passer rating and is completing 62 percent of his passes.  Couple this with his ability as a leader and coach and you are looking at the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL in Brees.

Brees’ efforts have been matched by his teammates.  The run game of the Saints has also began to emerge and has helped put them over the top.  Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory are all three dangerous weapons in the back field for Brees to utilize.  If one is not getting the job done they can put another in and count on them to get it done.   That is if the opposing team is lucky.  More often than not all three guys are running the ball with solid results.

The Saints defense, however, is admittedly terrible and could be their biggest weakness for teams to exploit if they do go to the playoffs.  They are last in run defense and second to last in pass defense.  Essentially the Saints beat teams by outscoring them in the offense.  A strategy that is hard to argue against, though, considering they have been winning.

The Saints have all ready ruined the undefeated season of the Atlanta Falcons and in their next game they will have to further prove themselves by taking on arguable the best team in the NFL in the San Francisco Giants. The point spread according to BetOnline.Com is 1 point favoring the 49ers. Bovada currently has the Saints listed as 25/1 to win the Super Bowl the only team that doesn’t have a winning record with odds that good.

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