Pro Football Focus recently started beta testing for their new game simulator, and early results indicate that the New Orleans Saints are going to have a phenomenal season. According to the tool, Derek Carr and friends are going to finish the season with a 13-4 record, easily the best in the NFC South and possibly good enough for the first seed in the NFC playoffs.
Now, it’s important to note that this tool is still in beta testing, so some of the results are going to look a little weird. On top of that, even once beta testing is completed, there is no machine out there that can predict the future with 100% accuracy. That being said, it’s still fun to take a look at what the PFF Game Simulator believes the future might hold for the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans Saints Go 13-4 In PFF Game Simulator
Biggest Takeaways and Surprises
The New Orleans Saints have one of the easiest schedules in the league, so it’s not all that surprising that the PFF Game Simulator believes that this team can win a lot of games. However, what is surprising is that the machine believes one of their four losses on the season will come against the Houston Texans, and it won’t be particularly close.
After running the simulation, the tool believes that the Texans will pull off a 39-26 upset win over New Orleans. While it is true that this team improved with the selections of C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson, this team is still a long way away from competing and probably isn’t ready to pull off this type of victory.
While most of the Saints 2023 opponents aren’t exactly the most terrifying bunch, the PFF Game Simulator believes that New Orleans will take care of business against the best of the best. The Saints have five games against playoff teams from the 2022 season, and the simulator believes that they will go 4-1 in those rematches, with the lone loss coming to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
These aren’t all just close victories, either. The PFF Game Simulator believes that the Saints will dominate the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, 29-0, as well as the New York Giants, 35-9. While these teams aren’t necessarily the best units to ever make the playoffs, it’s still impressive to beat any type of NFL competition by that wide of a margin.
Saints Stats From the PFF Game Simulator
Drew Brees believes that the Saints organization could do wonders for Derek Carr’s career, and the PFF Game Simulator seems to agree. According to their end-of-season projections, the quarterback will finish the year completing 394 of his 576 attempts (68.4%) for 4,754 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
If this happens, it would likely be the best season of Carr’s career. The yards would be the second-most in his career, while the touchdowns would be a career-high. Winning 13 games isn’t easy, but if Carr plays like this, it’s certainly on the table. A season like this wouldn’t challenge Patrick Mahomes for MVP, but it should earn Carr a trip to the Pro Bowl.
The PFF Game Simulator also believes that Michael Thomas will stay healthy and be the Saints top receiver, finishing with 78 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns. Chris Olave, meanwhile, finishes with 64 receptions for 875 yards and six touchdowns, which would be something of a disappointment following his amazing rookie season.
Main Photo: Stephen Lew – USA Today Sports