Atlanta Falcons Enemy Watch: A look at the New Orleans Saints

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Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws the ball prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

FB: A lot of talk is about Drew Brees’ play declining, but he did lead the league in passing yards last term. Can Brees match that again this year or is he on the way down?

JH: This national media frenzy of disrespecting Drew Brees is quite amusing. We’re talking about a quarterback that led the NFL in passing yards, finished second in the league in accuracy with nearly 70 percent completion, and top five in touchdown passes. I look at these type of articles like this: imagine knowing nothing but football all of your life, then being asked to cover cricket. It’s borderline hilarious, and Brees will be fine.

FB: Like Atlanta, defense was a major issue in New Orleans last year. How has the defense improved and will it be enough?

JH: Where do you begin? Brandon Browner was the most important addition during the offseason, as it gives the Saints a presence that they never have had. That’s a tall, physical cornerback that can play in a variety of areas. The secondary had respective issues last year with injuries, which forced more Patrick Robinson and Corey White in the mix. It was a huge mess.

Rookie Stephone Anthony is the real deal, and could become the team’s starter by Week 1. Kevin Williams, assuming he stays healthy, really solidifies the interior defensive line. Safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Jairus Byrd are 100 percent. We can’t forget the addition of Dennis Allen either, as he brings discipline and leadership to the table.

Next: Looking ahead to Falcons-Saints, NFC South predictions