2. The New Orleans Saints have a lot of tough games in 2019
There are two things that factor into this. First, the New Orleans Saints have a very tough early-season schedule that could catch even the best team off guard and lead to a slow start. Second, the NFC South is going to be better than it was last year and give the Saints more of a challenge than it did.
The Saints’ first four games are all against playoff teams. And while the team can certainly go 4-0 in those four, there is also the possibility of losing all four. While that is unlikely, the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks (in Seattle) and Dallas Cowboys are all teams that could beat the Saints.
Then in the sixth game of the year, the Saints have to travel to Jacksonville. The Jaguars were poor last year but are primed to be better this year, but more importantly, the Saints are going to have to play an afternoon game in that humid Florida air. Anything can happen.
They then follow that game up with a road game in Chicago. Out of those six games, the Saints could easily go 2-4, making the path to only 10 wins seem much more realistic.
Then, on top of that, the South is going to be better. Matt Ryan was secretly one of the best quarterbacks in the league last year (at least by stats) and the team is not going to be dealing with the slew of injuries on defense that they dealt with last year.
Devonta Freeman is healthy and hey, maybe Dirk Koetter can thrive as an offensive coordinator. The Panthers are a mess with Cam Newton‘s arm but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bound to be better than last year with Bruce Arians now at the helm.
The Saints will still win more games than they lose against the NFC South, but it is not all that crazy to think that maybe they only go 4-2 against the South.
That, mixed with going 2-4 in the six games mentioned earlier, already puts the Saints at 6-6. It is not guaranteed, but it certainly is plausible.