By Oliver Vaughn
April 3rd, 2023
Football fanatics and basketball aficionados know that March Madness is a time of wild, electric energy as two beloved leagues host their annual free agency frenzy. But what team will be this year's Cinderella story and make it to Super Bowl 2023?
As you read on, you can also catch up with all New England Patriots' upcoming odds and other NFL games to enjoy and win big.
Every season a few teams rise from the ashes and defy expectations, becoming Cinderella stories on their respective paths to the playoffs.
This year's NCAA Tournament has entailed a series of delightful surprises, yet the same doesn't necessarily have to be said for potential NFL contenders. While random dark horses might captivate us at times, it is usually teams like the University of Miami and San Diego State (rated as No. 5 seeds) who can make waves on their way to greatness. That unexpected balance between surprise and plausibility ultimately creates anticipation about what these programs will achieve in future campaigns.
Why New Orleans Saints
After a dismaying 7-10 record last season, the Saints are highly motivated to redeem themselves this year. General Manager Mickey Loomis has assembled an impressive roster featuring talented offensive powerhouses and one of the strongest defenses in football, with them ranked 5th for yards allowed.
The Saints had a tough 2022, going 5-6 in close battles – but just think of how their chances of success could have improved with Derek Carr at QB! The Saints were one play away from changing the course of history.
Derek Carr has been battle tested. During his 8-year tenure with the Raiders, he experienced it all—a franchise relocation, an explosive Antonio Brown situation, and a tumultuous 2021 culminating in Jon Gruden's departure from Oakland. Poor draft classes didn't help the roster's prospects either, as Carr had to adapt time and again when working with varying QB coaches and offensive coordinators throughout this period of professional rollercoasters.
Dennis Allen’s move to head coach for New Orleans was monumental. As the second coaching change since 2000, it brought much-needed stability to an organization that had rarely seen such longevity in its ranks - a trait that is now a hallmark of Saints football.
Derek Carr May Be the Missing Piece
With Derek Carr joining the New Orleans Saints, their front office hit it out of the park. Whether due to his reliable stats or personal charisma, he has been one of the top-tier quarterbacks in recent years and is widely respected as a franchise QB, making him an ideal addition for any team looking to make waves in 2021.
After two years of watching Derek Carr flourish under head coach Jon Gruden and offensive coordinator Greg Olson, fans have high hopes for another stellar season with Pete Carmichael now at the helm. We’re confident his supporting cast will give him just what he needs to achieve an outstanding campaign. In addition, dynamic wide receivers Michael Thomas and Chris Olave are primed to make big impacts - despite injuries throwing a curveball in recent seasons.
Allen's doubts about Thomas' readiness don't dampen my enthusiasm either, as this man is no stranger to Offensive Player of the Year awards. On top of that, with fresh off-setting franchise records last year, Olave looks set for bigger things again, with many tipping him as one of the best 15 WRs today.
Alvin Kamara, the do-it-all running back for the New Orleans Saints, has had an impressive NFL career thus far. In just six seasons in the league, he's already achieved over 1,000 yards from scrimmage - a feat only two other players have accomplished since 2017, when Kamara joined the NFL.
However, there is some uncertainty around him going forward due to pending charges related to conspiracy and battery that are set for trial in July. Adding depth at his position (and others on offense) is newly signed Jamaal Williams, who can be counted as a reliable touchdown machine.
After years of playing for a weak defense with the Raiders, Derek Carr will be delighted to join the Saints' top-10 unit. An intimidating pass rush led by Cam Jordan and hard-hitting linebackers including Demario Davis combines to create an impressive, tough defensive system at all levels. Even after losing key players in free agency, New Orleans remains well stocked on D - making it heaven for Carr!
Loomis has been instrumental in creating a consistent winning program for the New Orleans Saints, working with head coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees. His hard work was bearing fruit before 2021 when, unfortunately, their season ended at 9-8, ultimately resulting in Coach Payton's departure. However, this hiccup shouldn't diminish all of his accomplishments over two decades, as it is just a momentary blip on an otherwise successful journey.
Loomis has done everything he can to bolster the Saints' roster by acquiring Carr this offseason. Looking back on their successful track record with drafting over the past six years - from Kamara and Marshon Lattimore to rookie sensation Olave this year - we have confidence that he'll continue unearthing high-caliber talent for New Orleans during next season's NFL Draft.
The Saints have three formidable quarterbacks to take them well beyond their post-Brees era. Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, and Andy Dalton look ready to snatch success from the wide-open NFC South in 2023 with a projected playoff home game win—possibly even making it up to an NFC Championship battle if we're lucky! This Cinderella team looks set for a fairytale season under Carr's direction. So let’s just hope they don't stay at that ball too late into the night.