Game-by-game predictions from week 1 to week 18

There are many question marks for the New Orleans Saints ahead of the 2022 NFL season. They didn’t get the full view of Jameis Winston they wanted last year, but what they saw was promising. Dennis Allen takes over the position of head coach in New Orleans for the first time, Pete Carmichael is now responsible for the offensive. Nobody really knows how it will turn out.

The draft and the free hand appear to indicate the Saints believe they will be in contention this season. They’ve recently put accomplished veterans in adventurous positions, and great culture suits Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry. In the draft, they added elite offensive potential with first-rounders Chris Olave and Trevor Penning.

Based on recent off-season moves and finally with a confirmed schedule, here are predictions for each week in the 2022 season:

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file

It’s Marcus Mariota against Jameis Winston again, but one of the teams around them is much better equipped to win. The Saints should have no excuse to stumble out of goal against the Falcons. They might have some growing pains on offense, but it shouldn’t matter much.

final score: 31-10 saints

Record of Saints: 1-0

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It’s the true homecoming game for Bully Mathieu and Jarvis Landry. Combine that with the fact that the Buccaneers should be a step behind with their roster compared to last year, especially without Chris Godwin earlier in the year, and the Saints should be favorites to beat Tom Brady again in the regular season .

final score: 24-20 saints

Record of Saints: 2-0

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The Saints lost that game last season and later in the season struggled at home with the Panthers. That was Jameis’ worst game by far last year, but to be fair, Lil’Jordan Humphrey was his lead receiver with a 27-yard catch. The offense is in much better form this time around and the Saints should see that in their results.

final score: 33-17 saints

Record of Saints: 3-0

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Neither the Saints nor the Vikings have ever lost an international game and this has been quite a back and forth in recent encounters. This seems like a headache waiting to get from three NFC South opponents to cross the pond . The Saints are likely to drop out of a game, it seems likely to happen here.

final score: 21-17 Vikings

Record of Saints: 3-1

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The rivalry between Marshon Lattimore and DK Metcalf sees another duel, unfortunately for Metcalf he won’t be able to rely on Russell Wilson this time. The rebuilt Seahawks don’t seem ready to compete on paper, either on offense or defense. Maybe it would be closer if it was in Seattle.

final score: 35-10 saints

Record of Saints: 4-1

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This has a great chance of becoming game of the year. It could be essentially a neutral game, with LSU fans pouring in from Baton Rouge to cheer on the return of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. This is also the return of Eli Apple, post his comments about the city. It’s set up for fireworks, and I think it’ll deliver. The Saints could very well establish themselves as contenders in this game, but I think the most likely outcome is for the Bengals to emerge victorious.

final score: 42-35 Bengal

Record of Saints: 4-2

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This will be Deandre Hopkins’ return to the Cardinals after his suspension. That he’s fresh could make all the difference in what should still be an explosive offense in Arizona. It’ll bring the defense to the brink, but I’ll give it to the Cardinals since this is in Arizona.

final score: 24-20 cardinals

Record of Saints: 4-3

AP Photo/David Becker

This is another sneaky great match-up on this schedule. It really could go either way. Darren Waller led the Raiders to victory the last time the two teams met, and he’s not even the prime target anymore. However, the Saints have retooled as well and I think are better equipped on defense to make key stops.

final score: 31-17 saints

Record of Saints: 5-3

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Dennis Allen’s defense is always very good but seems to struggle with mobile quarterbacks. It feels like it’s going to be a similar game to last season when the Eagles rushed for 242 yards against the Saints. This is also one of the better defenses the Saints will see this season.

final score: 28-21 Ravens

Record of Saints: 5-4

Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

This feels like a game that will be a lot closer than most fans would expect. The Pittsburgh offense is a big question mark but has the potential to be okay. Kenny Pickett is probably already starting and the Saints have done their homework for him. I don’t think this will be a situation where a rookie quarterback catches a defense off guard. Won’t be pretty, but I think the Saints will get a win.

final score: 17-10 saints

Record of Saints: 6-4

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This is the truly defining game of the season. The Saints need to win this game if they really want to prove they belong in the contenders’ conversation. The team had a chance to come to terms with Dennis Allen and the new guys. I think the team will steal one at home and make the nation pay attention.

final score: 34-27 saints

Record of Saints: 7-4

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I think it’s fair to say that playing the 49ers is always an awkward game. It doesn’t matter who plays on both sides or who wins the game, it’s always difficult. I think the Saints are riding last week’s momentum and squeaking out another one.

final score: 27-24 saints

Record of Saints: 8-4

AP Photo/Jason Behnken

The Buccaneers got off their bye week a little fresh two weeks ago, while the Saints have had a tough season so far and gotten a super late bye week. Buccaneers take advantage and Brady finally gets one against the Saints in the regular season.

final score: 31-14 Buccaneers

Record of Saints: 8-5

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

See Week 1. I just don’t think the Falcons are cut out to compete with anyone this season, especially a Saints team coming after a bye.

final score: 42-14 saints

Record of Saints: 9-5

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Deshaun Watson is likely the Browns’ quarterback by now, making the Browns a potentially scary team. Not a ton of guns out there, but two very talented backs and good defense. Could possibly be a snow game, will probably be quite cold. I think we’re seeing a sluggish game that boils down to a late drive, but I think the Saints take that from a great defensive display.

final score: 24-20 saints

Record of Saints: 10-5

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Having back-to-back cold-weather games at this point in the season is very unfortunate for the Saints, they could potentially drop both, but I think the Eagles will continue to be a thorn in the side of the Saints and be the ones out of the running going road trip to take one from New Orleans.

final score: 24-20 eagles

Record of Saints: 10-6

Chuck Cook USA TODAY Sports

The Saints probably won’t have the privilege of seeding their starters at this point in the season, they’re also likely the only ones in this game fighting for anything. It should be an easy game to wrap up the regular season and set the Saints up for a postseason run.

final score: 35-21 saints

Record of Saints: 11-6

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