2015 Offensive Bold Predictions by David Billiot

Drew Brees throws for 12 interceptions or less.

My thinking: Brees has done that three times in his career in New Orleans. Those three times were: 2006 (11 INTs), 2009 (11 INTs), and 2013 (12 INTs). His next lowest total with the Saints was in 2011, when he threw 14 interceptions. Any Saints fan can probably look at those four years and immediately realize that they have one thing in common. Those four years were the most successful seasons since Brees took over under center in 2006. They lost in the Divisional Round of the playoffs twice (’11 and ’13), lost in the NFC Championship game (’06), and won the Super Bowl (’09). Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well that’s obvious. They’re best when they don’t turn the ball over.” That’s not it, though. The three seasons that the Saints have run the ball most under Coach Sean Payton were 2006, 2009, and 2011. In those three seasons, New Orleans averaged 457 rushing attempts per year. How much did they run the ball in the other six seasons, you ask? Just an average of 390 times a year. That’s a huge difference. The correlation between all of those numbers and this upcoming season is simple. Every move the Saints made in the off-season indicated that they want to throw less and run more. They traded Brees’ #1 target to get a former All-Pro at center, they traded a young, talented receiver, and they used the 13th overall pick to select an offensive tackle, despite having two starters in place. Oh yeah, they also locked down their bell-cow running back with a four year, $16 million contract. Sean Payton would not have done any of those things if not for the simple fact that they want to run the ball, control the clock, and help their defense. When his teams do that, Brees throws fewer interceptions. Plain and simple.

Mark Ingram runs for 1,200 yards, catches 40 passes, and scores 12 touchdowns.

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