The “Slot Machine” Saints

June 17th, 2022

Despite the Bucs’ challenging 2022 schedule, Tampa Bay appears to have clear sailing to repeat as NFC South champs.

The Falcons are below-average to bad. The Panthers have talent and a nasty defense, but they have major quarterback and coaching issues. It’ll be a near miracle if Carolina finds nine wins.

And then there’s the slimy Saints, a talented and balanced roster with a shaky quarterback coming off major knee surgery, and New Orleans lost its iconic head coach of the past 15 seasons.

Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian says the Bucs’ big rival is a true longshot to have a special season, so he explained during Late Hits on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Polian likes new Saints head coach Dennis Allen, but Polian notes Allen’s time as Raiders head man was not the best training ground. (One could say that about Todd Bowles in New York, too.) But Polian is more focused on the Saints’ big questions on offense.

“Alvin Kamara will come back and be what he was before the injury [and Michael] Thomas will come back and be what he was before the injury, and Jameis will be the quarterback that we saw for six games [last year]? That to me is a little like playing a slot machine,” Polian said. “Are all three going to hit in the same vein at the same time? I kind of doubt it.”

Joe doubts it, too. Remember, the Saints will roll with a rookie left tackle and Cameron Jordan turns 33 in a few weeks.

Can the Saints make up four games on the Bucs? Last year Tampa Bay won 13 and New Orleans won 9. Joe’s not feeling it.

17 Responses to “The “Slot Machine” Saints”

  1. geno711 Says:

    I agree with Polian. Two of those things could hit and the Saints would get to 10 wins instead of 9. To get to 12 or 13 wins, they need all three of those things to hit.

    Plus, there is Jameis at playoff time. My guess is even if the Saints get to the playoffs, we will quickly see the Jameis we so too often here against the better teams.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m hoping this is the year we solve the Saints……..A Paytonless Saints team is automatically lacking….(but that didn’t show itself on Dec 19. 2021.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sorry…Payton was still coach then……he was there & unfortunately so was TBBF.

  4. Buc4evr Says:

    The Saints always beat us with trick plays. If we can get our Defense to be wary of the trick plays, we have a good chance of winning. Jameis is a question mark like he has been his entire career. He can be all pro one game and horrible in another – it’s unpredictable how he will play week to week.

  5. Dooley Says:

    It’s more the Saints defense I’m concerned about. Kamaras’ been contained by our front 7, evidenced by the fact he hasn’t had a 100 combined yards or multi-score game against us since the first game in 2020. Michael Thomas also hasn’t had a big day against us since the first time he played our Todd Bowles lead defense back in 2019.

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect Kamara will owe a few early games to Goodell.

    Bucs have to find a way to avoid getting seal-clubbed by the Saints DL to have a shot at winning in 2022. So far that hasn’t happened in regular-season play for years.

  7. SlyPirate Says:


    3 FGs beat the Bucs last year (and they didn’t need two of them).

    That game mattered, too. It would have secured the NFCS championship.

    It doesn’t matter who the Saints play on the offense if the Bucs can’t figure out their defense.

  8. K2 Says:

    Sean Payton has been one of the best coaches in the NFL. Sure you can argue if Sean Payton is a good or bad guys…I get that. Payton’s game plans and game time adjustments were always outstanding. It’s not just the plays, but his particular play mix that sets him apart. He is flat out…one of the best. I’m very happy that he won’t be making the calls this year.

  9. DoooshLaRue Says:

    What a great pic!

  10. GOB Says:

    Bucs fans should be very concerned about the saints. They don’t need to be an offensive juggernaut to win games. That defense will keep them in it, for most of the season. The secondary is better than last year, and the bucs are weaker in the pass catching department. A split is a victory.

  11. steele Says:

    Clear sailing? The schedule is one of the toughest I’ve seen. They’ll be fortunate to get to .500. The only thing that gives them “clear sailing” is if last season’s playoff teams all very badly regress, and the Saints also badly regress.

  12. Tye Says:

    I agree it is doubtful three injured players all come back and play exceptional…
    Especially Winston for obvious reasons!

    For me, the biggest glaring fact is that Sean Payton leaving the team…
    What coach, if confident he has a winning team, would walk out on them?…
    I sincerely believe Sean left to preserve his win lose record to resume it with a better team in a year or two.. Sean knew he did not have even remotely close to as good a QB as he had with Brees!

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    As usual I agree with Cobra.

    The biggest gamble for the Saints ironically centers in Las Vegas.

    That was a truly brutal assault and we’ve learned that rich people can prolong justice for quite awhile. I do not know Kamara’s legal strategy, perhaps someone has read about it. Does he wish to get to court so he can find out his NFL medicine at the front of the season…he’s not going to jail so it’s just a question of how many games he gives up. Estimates seem to center on a 6 game suspension.

    So what should Kamara and the Saints do in your opinion? Take the medicine up front or delay the hearing for as long as possible and again people with money can stretch that out for a long time…Kamara could possibly play the entire season and save that almost certain guilty verdict and suspension until after the season.

    I’m not an attorney and so I’m totally unqualified to talk about how long Kamara might be able to drag it out if he wishes. Somebody here more informed than me…that’s a LOT lol..can perhaps tell us what Kamara faces legally.

  14. Craig Says:

    The Saints aren’t going to be much of a team until the season if half over.

    Kamara will get at least a four game suspension.

    Jameis is going to take four games before he is over his fear of knee surgery. What he will be to start will probably look like his time with the Bucs, that deer in the headlights look.

    Michael Thomas is also going to take a while to get back to form, if he hasn’t lost a step like most others with a bad injury.

    The hole they dig at the start of the season will be too deep to allow them close to the Bucs.

  15. Nick2 Says:

    So sad the saints have come back to the pack and look up at us. I could care less about their injuries they WONT win the NFC South!!!

  16. Anonymous Says:

    The league typically reserves suspensions until after the case has been resolved, so my guess is Kamara will kick his case as long as he can. I’m not familiar with Clark County, but in my experience, if the conditions are right (lazy judge and overworked prosecutor), he could easily kick his case for at least another year.

  17. stpetebucsfan Says:

    THX Anonymous. I do not really know either but I feel pretty sure Kamara/his attorneys/Saints are all figuring out the best time to drop six games.

    BTW In RB terms Kamara is not getting any younger. He enters his sixth year averaging about 200 carries a year…he had a whopping 240 last year.

    If nothing else the Saints will have to “spot” Kamara a lot better if he wants to maximize the length of his career.