Monday, June 29, 2009

Saints Nation: Previewing the 2009 Saints' Regular Season (part 2)

Below is the preview of weeks 9 through 17. If you missed the preview of the first 8 weeks, CLICK HERE.

Week 9 vs. Carolina (11/8): I was shocked when the Panthers signed Jake Delhomme to an extension this offseason and gave him a RIDICULOUS amount of bonus money for signing. I guess we can look forward to seeing him for a long time despite the fact that he singlehandedly threw away postseason last year. Can't really blame the Panthers when it comes to how he plays against the Saints, though, because he's owned us.

2008 Rankings: 10th in offense, 18th in defense
2008 Record: 12-4
Last Meeting: 33-31 Panther win in New Orleans. Gut wrenching.

It's been an exceedingly quiet offseason for Carolina, other than the Julius Peppers fiasco. He ended up signing a 1 year deal this week, so we'll be seeing him again. Ken Lucas is gone, but the rest of the team we can expect to be similar to last year.

Week 10 @ St. Louis (11/15): The Rams were absolutely abysmal last year. Just terrible. A must win.

2008 Rankings: 27th in offense, 28th in defense
2008 Record: 2-14
Last Meeting: 37-29 Rams win in 2007 @ New Orleans.

La'Roi Glover, gone. Torry Holt, gone. Brian Leonhard, traded. Pisa Tinoisamoa, gone. Orlando Pace, gone. The Rams have completely revamped their team so it's hard to know what to expect. What we do know is they'll likely plan to build their team around veterans Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson, and those two have had enough success in their careers to be considered dangerous.

Week 11 @ Tamp Bay (11/22): New regime in Tampa with the Bucs letting go of John Gruden. All sings point towards Luke McCown getting first crack at the starting QB job for this season. Should be interesting and I have a feeling this might be a rebuilding year for them. I certainly hope so.

2008 rankings: 14th in offense, 9th in defense.
2008 record: 9-7
Last Meeting in Tampa: Bucs won 23-20 in a game the Saints really should have had. The Saints passed too much in the rain, and turned it over at critical times. Easily Drew Brees' worst game of the season.

Kellen Winslow is the new tight end for this team which is something to prepare for. Also added to the mix are Angelo Crowell, who played very well in Buffalo last year, kicker Mike Nugent, Byron Leftwich and Derrick Ward. Gone are Hilliard, Dunn, Galloway (thank God) and Derrick Brooks - so many veterans that have hurt the Saints over the years.

Week 12 vs. New England (11/30): On Monday Night Football against Tom Brady's Patriots. The dome should be rockin', and this will give the Saints a chance to see how their measure up against the elite of the league. We'll have a pretty good idea of our Superbowl chances after this one.

2008 Rankings: 5th on offense, 10th on defense.
2008 Record: 11-5
Last Meeting: Patriots won 24-17 in 2005

Brady should be all healed up and playing, barring another injury or setback. Rodney Harrison is gone, so we won't have to worry about him hitting Shockey or Colston over the middle. Veteran Shawn Springs and Saints killer Joey Galloway are new additions.

Week 13 @ Washington (12/6): Check out THIS ARTICLE for an idea of what I think about the Skins.

2008 Rankings: 19th on offense, 4th on defense.
2008 Record: 8-8
Last Meeting: 2008, Redskins won 29-24

Nothing would make me happier than watching the Saints win this game by 50.

Week 14 @ Atlanta (12/13): This will be a return to the Georgia Dome. See week 8 for details on the Falcons.

Last Meeting in Atlanta: Falcons won in 2008, 34-20.

Week 15 vs. Dallas (12/19): Another chance for the Saints to play in front of a national audience. Terrell Owens is gone, but otherwise Dallas showcases a similar team to the one they had last season.

2008 Rankings: 13th on offense, 8th on defense.
2008 Record: 8-8
Last Meeting: 2006, Saints won 42-17

Dallas will be looking to bounce back up to the elite after what they surely consider a disappointing season. Roy Williams (the safety) was surprisingly let go, and they are replacing him with a guy the Saints were interested in in Gerald Sensabaugh. Matt Stewart, Keith Brooking and Jon Kitna are now noteable Cowboys.

Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay (12/27): Tampa will come back to visit the Saints in the Superdome. See week 11 for details on the Bucs.

Last Meeting in New Orleans: Week 1 of 2008, Saints won 24-20.

Week 17 @ Carolina (1/3): Carolina will host the Saints at Ericson Stadium. See week 9 for details on the Panthers.

Last Meeting in Carolina: Panthers won in 2008, 30-7.