Game-by-game predictions, from Week 1 to Week 18:

There are a lot of question marks heading into the 2022 NFL season for the New Orleans Saints. They did not get the full look last year at Jameis Winston that they wanted, but what they did see was promising. Dennis Allen is taking over as head coach for the first time in New Orleans, Pete Carmichael is in charge of the offense now. No one really knows how it will play out.

The draft and free agency seems to point to the fact that the Saints believe that they will be in the running this season. They’ve brought in accomplished veterans at positions of need and great culture fits in Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry recently. In the draft they added elite offensive potential in first rounders Chris Olave and Trevor Penning.

Based off of the recent off-season moves and finally having a confirmed schedule, here are predictions for every week in the 2022 season:

Week 1: at Atlanta Falcons:

AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill, File:

It’s Marcus Mariota versus Jameis Winston again, but one of the teams surrounding them is much more equipped to win. The Saints should not have any excuse to stumble out of the gate against the Falcons. They may have some growing pains on offense, but it shouldn’t matter much.

Final score: 31-10 Saints:

Saints’ record: 1-0:

Week 2: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports:

It’s the true homecoming game for Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry. Combine that with the fact that the Buccaneers should take a step back with their roster compared to last year, especially with no Chris Godwin to start the year, and the Saints should be the favorites to win against Tom Brady in the regular season again.

Final score: 24-20 Saints:

Saints’ record: 2-0:

Week 3: at Carolina Panthers:

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports:

The Saints lost this game last season, and then struggled with the Panthers later in the season at home. This was Jameis’ worst game by far last year, but to be fair his leading receiver was Lil’Jordan Humphrey with one catch for 27 yards. The offense is in much better shape this time around, and the Saints should see that in the results.

Final score: 33-17 Saints:

Saints’ record: 3-0:

Week 4: vs. Minnesota Vikings (London)

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports:

Neither the Saints nor Vikings have ever lost an international game, and this has been a pretty back and forth series over the last few meetings. This seems like a headache waiting to happen going from three NFC South opponents to crossing the pond. The Saints will likely drop a game early, this seems like where it’ll happen.

Final score: 21-17 Vikings:

Saints’ record: 3-1:

Week 5: vs. Seattle Seahawks:

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports:

The Marshon Lattimore-DK Metcalf rivalry sees another matchup, unluckily for Metcalf he will not have Russell Wilson to rely on this time. The rebuilding Seahawks do not seem to be poised to compete on paper, either on offense or defense. Maybe it would be closer if it was in Seattle.

Final score: 35-10 Saints:

Saints’ record: 4-1:

Week 6: vs. Cincinnati Bengals:

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports:

This has a great chance to be the game of the year. It could be essentially a neutral site game, with LSU fans pouring in from Baton Rouge to root for 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 will deliver. The Saints could very well cement themselves as contenders during this game, but I think the most likely outcome is the Bengals walking out as victors.

Final score: 42-35 Bengals:

Saints’ record: 4-2:

Week 7: at Arizona Cardinals:

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports:

This will be the return of Deandre Hopkins to the Cardinals after his suspension. Him being fresh could be the difference maker for what should still be an explosive Arizona offense. It will push the defense to the edge, but I will give this one to the Cardinals with this one being in Arizona.

Final score: 24-20 Cardinals:

Saints’ record: 4-3:

Week 8: vs. Las Vegas Raiders:

AP Photo / David Becker:

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

Final score: 31-17 Saints:

Saints’ record: 5-3:

Week 9: vs. Baltimore Ravens:

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports:

Dennis Allen’s defenses are always very good, but seem to have been struggling with mobile quarterbacks. This feels like it will be a similar game to last season when the Eagles ran for 242 yards against the Saints. This is also one of the better defenses that the Saints will see this season.

Final score: 28-21 Ravens:

Saints’ record: 5-4:

Week 10: at Pittsburgh Steelers:

Matt Freed / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP:

This feels like a game that is going to be way closer than most fans would expect. The offense in Pittsburgh is a big question mark but has potential to be okay. Kenny Pickett is likely starting by now, and the Saints have done their homework on him. I do not think this will be a situation where a rookie quarterback catches a defense off guard. Won’t be pretty, but I think the Saints pick up a victory.

Final score: 17-10 Saints:

Saints’ record: 6-4:

Week 11: vs. Los Angeles Rams:

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports:

This is the real make or break game of the season, the Saints will need to win this game if they want to really prove that they belong in the contender conversation. The team has had their chance to settle with Dennis Allen and the new guys, I think the team will steal one at home and make the nation start to pay attention.

Final score: 34-27 Saints:

Saints’ record: 7-4:

Week 12: at San Francisco 49ers:

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports:

I think it’s fair to say that playing the 49ers is always an uncomfortable game. No matter who is playing on either side, or who wins the game, it’s always a tough one. I think the Saints ride the momentum of last week and squeak another one out.

Final score: 27-24 Saints:

Saints’ record: 8-4:

Week 13: at Tamp Bay Buccaneers:

AP Photo / door Jason Behnken:

The Buccaneers are somewhat fresh off of their bye week two weeks ago, while the Saints had a tough season so far and were given 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:

Saints’ record: 8-5:

Week 14: Bye:

Finally.

Week 15: vs. Atlanta Falcons:

AP Photo / Brynn Anderson:

See Week 1. I just do not think the Falcons are built to compete with anyone this season, especially a Saints team coming off of a bye.

Final score: 42-14 Saints:

Saints’ record: 9-5:

Week 16: at Cleveland Browns:

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports:

Deshaun Watson is likely the quarterback of the Browns by now, making the Browns a potentially scary team. Not a ton of weapons out wide, but two very talented backs and a good defense. Could potentially be a snow game, will likely be pretty cold. I think we see a sluggish game that comes down to a late drive, but I do think the Saints take this one off of a great defensive performance.

Final score: 24-20 Saints:

Saints’ record: 10-5:

Week 17: at Philadelphia Eagles:

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports:

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

Final score: 24-20 Eagles:

Saints’ record: 10-6:

Week 18: vs. Carolina Panthers:

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports:

The Saints will likely not have the privilege of sitting their starters at this point of the season, they’re also likely the only ones in this game fighting for anything. Should be an easy game to end the regular season and set the Saints up for a post-season run.

Final score: 35-21 Saints:

Saints’ record: 11-6:

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