Are the New Orleans Saints overrated for the 2022 NFL Season?
The New Orleans Saints enter the upcoming season tipped as modest contenders in NFL Futures, but their quarterback position is up in the air with Drew Brees’ retirement in the offseason and the reins falling into the untried and untested hands of jack-of-all trades backup Taysom Hill and last year’s third-string quarterback Jameis Winston.
Sean Payton is a well-respected head coach; his wealth of experience and track record of success in the league has earned him respect from his peers and those vested stakeholders within the Saints organization to trust that he knows what he’s doing. Hence, perhaps, the market’s rather favorable outlook.
And yet, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick – arguably the GOAT of coaches in today’s game – was in a similar situation last season, down an elite quarterback when he was left scrambling to find a replacement for Tom Brady after his sudden departure to the greener pastures of Tampa Bay. Tale told, Belichick struggled to get Brady’s big shoes filled and consequently the Patriots sunk to a subpar 6-10 SU finish, their worst record on the season during his two decade reign in New England.
Given the New England Patriots experience of the last season, it raises the question of whether the Saints might be headed in a similar direction. In other words: are the Saints overrated in the betting as things stand right now?
New Orleans Saints Betting Outlook 2022
In the broad spectrum of the league, the Saints are tipped anywhere between +2500 and +3000 to win Super Bowl 56, while in the NFC South they’re pegged as the second best bet after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As per DraftKings, the Saints are tipped at +300 to win the NFC South and at +2800 to win SBLVI. The latter of which puts the Saints on a level with the Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos, and behind the Kansas City Chiefs (+500), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+650), Buffalo Bills (+1200), LA Rams (+1300), Baltimore Ravens (+1400), San Francisco 49ers (+1400), Green Bay Packers (+1500), Cleveland Browns (+1600), Indianapolis Colts (+2500) and Seattle Seahawks (+2500).
NFL Division Futures: NFC SOUTH
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -200
- New Orleans Saints +300
- Atlanta Falcons +800
- Carolina Panthers +1100
Sean Payton is embarking on a new era in New Orleans without his stalwart quarterback Drew Brees by his side. The 40-something veteran signal caller decided to hang up his cleats at the conclusion of the 2020-21 NFL season, after his last lap around the league culminated with an early exit in the playoffs – they lost to the eventual champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-20 in the divisional round.
Payton knew this day was coming as Brees has been flirting with retirement from the NFL for some time. It’s been the subject of much media speculation with many pegging the Future Hall of Fame quarterback to take up a career as an NFL broadcaster next. But now that Brees is actually gone, Payton’s approach to the quarterback position leaves room for doubt to seep in and take up residence.
Long-time Brees backup Taysom Hill is a superb athlete but whether he’s a bona fide starting quarterback is up in the air. He’s a dual-threat quarterback in the mould of Lamar Jackson, which appears to be all the rage in the league right now. However, Hill’s skill-set and talents aren’t guaranteed to translate automatically into success at the quarterback position.
Hill stepped up over Winston for Drew Brees last season when the veteran was side-lined for several weeks with a rib injury. He threw for over 70 percent of his passes while averaging 209 passing yards. He ended his brief stint with a 3-1 record, but that record is exactly that. Brief, if positive.
On the flipside, Jameis Winston is a mercurial quarterback that spent the first five years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before head coach Bruce Arians decided to cast him off last season. Although Arians worked with Winston for only a year, he’d seen enough apparently to warrant the cut. And that’s a serious knock on the quarterback when the so-called “quarterback whisperer” coach gives up on you.
Neither Hill nor Winston’s resume in the league is encouraging enough to warrant the Saints’ rather overrated NFL odds. Hill is an unproven and untried starting quarterback that may or may not succeed at the helm while Winston’s catalogue of frustrating, error-prone quarterbacking is record setting in the worst ways possible. No doubt Payton is a solid head coach and the Saints are a good team on the whole, but the bar is way too high for 2021-22 and NFL bettors might be better off lowering expectations significantly. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if this experiment imploded in Payton’s face – not unlike the manner in which it did in Belichick’s last season. The moral of the story: there’s only so much a coach can do from the side-lines. It’s the quality on the field that ultimately makes the difference between winning and losing.