2013 NFL Power Rankings Countdown: #9 New Orleans Saints

USA TODAY Sports

One aspect of the NFL that really makes the game interesting is how important coaching is to wins and losses. We all remember how terrible Mike Shanahan was at assembling talent, yet he always seemed to find a way to get to .500 or better. In this vein of thought, Sean Payton's suspension ruined any chance the New Orleans Saints had for success in 2012.

Another reason I placed them highly on this list is that they play a fairly easy to mid-range schedule: Buccaneers twice, Panthers twice, Cardinals, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Rams, and Cowboys. I think they win six or seven of those games, then all they need to do is finish near .500 in the tougher games on their schedule and the Saints will be playoff bound.

9. New Orleans Saints (2012 Record: 7-9)

Look for the Saints to easily return to excellence in 2013. It should come down to the Falcons and Saints for the division title, but I give the edge to the Falcons mostly due to the defense and also weapons to be had on offense. Drew Brees started off really bad in 2012, but put the team on his shoulders for most of the season before faltering down the stretch.

The Saints should be much better this year, especially after drafting defense last weekend. They are going to need some better defensive effort if they are doing to stave off the forty-bergers next season. With Sean Payton returning, look for this team to fight their way back into the playoffs.

Another interesting tidbit is Tim Tebow wants to learn as a backup to Drew Brees, but would his legion of maniacs allow such a thing? I hope so, because I really do think Tebow can make it in this league if given a chance to sit and learn.

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