The 2023 season for the New Orleans Saints began with plenty of promise.
After all, the defense was really good last season and returned most of its key pieces. The inconsistent and lackluster quarterback position was improved with the signing of Derek Carr. The offensive line had plenty of proven commodities and the skilled position group seemed to have more talented players than any group in recent Saints’ memory.
However, things were not all rosy in the first half of the season.
New Orleans won each of their first two games, but there were signs for concern on the offensive side of the ball. The game in Green Bay was going well, but an injury to Derek Carr and an inability to move the ball led to a disappointing first loss. Then, the worst performance of the year with just nine points against Tampa had the full panic button activated.
The Saints bounced back against a beat-up New England team but then struggled again against Houston and Jacksonville. Last week’s win against the Colts may have been the best offensive performance of the season.
So what are we left with?
The Saints are a 4-4 football team, which sums up a lot of the situation. They are completely inconsistent. However, the improvements on offense feel like they have that group steadily coming along. The schedule presents plenty more opportunities to stack wins. After all, the Saints are tied for the division lead in the NFC South even with that 4-4 record.
The next aspect that paints a rosy picture for the Saints is their upcoming schedule. This Sunday, they face a Bears team that is starting a backup rookie quarterback who played in Division II in college. Next week, they face a Vikings team that just lost Kirk Cousins and will either start a rookie or a journeyman that they just traded for. Beyond that, New Orleans only plays one team with a winning record for the rest of the season.
With that set of circumstances comes opportunity. The Saints have had moments where things look disgruntled. They have also had moments where things look like they are coming together. While this group has everything in front of them, they’re still in search of that magical concept that so many in the National Football League seek.