The Saints have made multiple moves during this year’s offseason. How will these additions help the team perform in Week One when they face the Falcons in Atlanta?
The first week of the 2022 NFL season will kick off for the Saints on September 11. With so many additions this offseason, how will the team perform in their first game? As we start to look ahead, here are three bold predictions for the team’s first matchup this season:
Michael Thomas Returns To The Saints’ Offense With A Huge Day
The Saints’ former All-Pro has been itching to get back on the field after being held out most of the preseason. Thomas averages just over eight receptions and 98.6 yards per game and has three total touchdowns in his career against the Falcons.
The Falcons may have some playmakers at the corner position with AJ Terrell and Casey Hayward, but how long can they cover for? The Falcons generated the worst pass rush last year, tallying up only 18 total sacks. The next closest team had 29. If the Falcons can’t get to the quarterback then the Saints’ receivers are going to have all day to shake free.
Thomas’s Twitter alias [@Cantguardmike] will come to be true once again next Sunday.
Projected stat line: 11 rec, 113 yards, TD
Will Christmas Come Early For The Saints This Year?
While Alvin Kamara may not have a performance quite like his Christmas game against the Vikings in 2020, he will still have more than a productive outing. The Falcons were 27th in rushing defense last year, allowing 131.9 yards per game on the ground and tied for the fifth most rushing touchdowns given up (via pro football reference). With their only additions being addressed in the draft, there will be no shortage of stats for Kamara in Atlanta.
Projected stat line: 16 rush, 93 yds, two TD and five rec, 49 yds, TD
The Saints’ Defense Makes Their Mark In A Big Way
Tyrann Mathieu joins the fray alongside Cameron Jordan, Demario Davis, and Marshon Lattimore. This defense will look to shut down a Falcons offense from which they took the ball away three times in their last meeting. With a (with all due respect) worse quarterback and offense in general than last season, the Saints’ defense will not only take the ball away four times but will hold the Falcons’ offense under 20 points.
Projected stat line: five sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, 17 points allowed
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