It’s Finally Football Season Again!
By Mario Jerez
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Last January, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs broke the city of New Orleans’ collective heart. Diggs took advantage of a defensive blunder and scored a last-second touchdown to eliminate the Saints from the NFL playoffs.
The “Minnesota Miracle”, as the play has been dubbed, will live on in NFL infamy and has tortured Saints fans with constant replays throughout the off season. However, the new season is finally upon us. And the Saints are about to get their shot at redemption.
The core of last year’s team, which went 11-5 and won its division, is back to take another crack at a title. Sean Payton and Drew Brees are one of six active head coach-quarterback combinations to have won a super bowl.
Twelve years into their tenure, they remain the orchestrators of one of the league's best offenses. For the first time in a long time, the Saints also had a solid defense in 2017. This year, the unit hopes for continued improvement under third-year defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
These factors, combined with several others, have created high expectations for the upcoming campaign. Around water coolers and on sports talk shows, the Saints are as good a pick as anyone to win it all. The team even hung a large banner that reads “prove them right” at their practice facility, a reference to the praise the Saints have garnered from local and national media.
They will have to take it one game at a time, and nothing is guaranteed. But, in New Orleans, the anticipation is the highest it’s been in years! This team has the talent to win a championship. But the NFL season is long and unpredictable, and preseason expectations can become irrelevant quickly.
Still, the city of New Orleans is right to be excited. This team has a chance to do something special and hopefully, they’re able to rise to the challenge.
The Saints open the regular season on September 9th in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.