USA TODAY Sports NFL predictions aren't high on Saints, Jameis Winston – Saints Wire

We’ve talked before about how volatile expectations are for the New Orleans Saints this year. Some media outlets see a legitimate Super Bowl contender. A lot of others view New Orleans as a team that would be lucky to reach the postseason. Whether questions are focused on the Saints quarterback situation or first-year head coach Dennis Allen (whose tenure with the Raiders a decade ago didn’t exactly go well), there are a lot of doubts circling this Saints team.
That’s reflected in the 2022 NFL season predictions from USA TODAY Sports. None of the seven ballots see the Saints winning their division — or advancing to Super Bowl LVII. Three panelists don’t have New Orleans in the playoffs at all, while the other four predict the Saints to squeeze in as the final NFC wild card team. Just two of the seven panelists (Nate Davis and Lorenzo Reyes) like Winston to win Comeback Player of the Year recognition.
As our own Ross Jackson has explored before, Winston would need to meet benchmarks of at least 4,600 passing yards with 36 touchdown passes against 14 interceptions to match the thresholds set by past Comeback Player of the Year performances. We know Winston can move the ball downfield and score a lot of points, but it comes back to the same question with him: whether or not he can keep the football out of harm’s way. He improved in that area last year on an admittedly small sample size. Now he’s expected to take a big step forward. If he can do that, Winston should prove the doubters wrong — and vindicate his supporters. Let’s see if he has it in him.
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