Does Losing Sean Payton Matter for New Orleans Saints?

May you have arrived in The Big Easy. Jazz Fest finally went off in New Orleans with the usual mud and rain. People are returning to a jovial mood. Even Jimmy Buffet appeared to declare things are feeling closer to normal again. And more importantly, fans of the New Orleans Saints can book trips to their favorite road games for the 2022 NFL season. This upcoming year brings much intrigue. Excitement is high. Optimism runs rampant. The month of May brings the ultimate “Debbie Downer” to feeling lifted up about making another run at a Super Bowl. Expectations are mostly towards another playoff run (except Vegas). Las Vegas set the win total betting line close to eight games, which is not exactly a declaration of confidence from the betting majority. Dennis Allen has assumed head coach responsibilities after Sean Payton left the Saints.

How much will the Saints Miss Sean Payton?

Still, the Saints are far from being a solid playoff contender. The Saints used the NFL Draft to fill two needs at offensive tackle by drafting Trevor Penning. Also, the Saints picked up wide receiver Chris Olave from Ohio State across from starting wide receiver michael thomas. More importantly, the Saints favorite son Tyrann Matthieu is coming home. The “Honey Badger” is well known around Louisiana for his play at LSU. And just today the Saints announced former LSU standout Jarvis Landry returning to Louisiana. Landry was born in Convent, Louisiana. Being local always brings in extra enthusiasm to the already rising expectations from Who Dat Nation.

That being said, there is one person who will not be in the building come training camp in July. Evidence says a new coach struggles in their first year. Weirdly enough, coaches who coached previously with another NFL team struggle even more.

First Year Head Coaches Struggle to win

In 2021, there were seven new head coaches. Only two had a winning record. Albeit barely. Brandon Staley coached the Los Angeles Chargers to a 9-8 record and Nick Sirianni matched that same mark with the philadelphia eagles. Staley was not quite good enough to make the playoffs, but the progress was graded as being positive entering the 2022 NFL season. Sirianni did make the playoffs with the Eagles. They were an early out to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-15 in the Wild Card round.

Regardless, the playoff berth raised the status and will buy time for him going forward. Surely, going by one year is not exactly a solid sample size for first year coaches. And not only that, every coach in 2021 came in as a first year coach in the NFL. Urban Meyer of course did coach in college but totally imploded in Jacksonville.

Starting from 2016, there were 10 new coaches in the NFL making a second stint with a new team. Doug Browne coached the jacksonville jaguars to a 10-6 record after a stint with the buffalo bills. Marrone made it to the AFC Championship game before losing to the New England Patriots 24-20.

Unfortunately, that season was the peak for him. He went 12-36 the next three years before getting fired. Marrone was the only coach who made the playoffs yet there was one more who had a winning record. Tennessee Titans coach mike mularkey also came out with a winning record of 9-7 but did not qualify for the playoffs.

Mularkey took over the Titans in Week 9 after Ken Whisenhunt was fired. I have finished 2-7 that year but in his first full season posed a winning record.

For the other eight retread coaches, the combined total record was 39-89 — equaling an approximate winning percentage of 30%.

Dennis Allen has Potential to Beat all Odds

So what does this all mean in a nutshell. Dennis Allen is going against the odds. Furthermore, replacing Sean Payton is a tall task for everyone. The numbers state unequivocally that two new coaches in 2022 will likely have a winning record. Look for the Denver Broncos coach to claim one of those.

In my opinion, if the Saints currently still had Sean Payton at the helms, the win-loss total would be two games higher. But the hard fact is Allen will face plenty of adversity.

My prediction for the 2022 NFL season is an 8-9 finish. And that could be high enough to grab second place. And that’s not what Saints fans want to hear. Last year the 9-8 finish was the mark predicted but no way the amount of injuries were expected. With a few breaks, the Saints could have been 11-6 or higher.

This year looks to be filled with more talent but at the same time, losing Terron Armstead and safety marcus-williams will be more important than it seems. Predictions are simply that. There is no crystal ball and hopefully the prediction here will be totally off.

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