Patriots

Patriots

The 2007 New England Patriots remain one of the best teams in NFL history despite losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, and one member of that 18-1 Pats squad sees similarities to one of this season's championship contenders.

Former Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson, who currently plays for the Saints and was a part of New England's '07 roster, believes New Orleans' offensive firepower is comparable to what he experienced with Tom Brady and Co. 11 years ago.

“Obviously, 2007 in New England was really special,” Watson told Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. “And this year, in many ways, it kind of does [feel the same], just in the way that we’re able to execute on offense. We get up to the line of scrimmage, there’s not much that we call that we don’t think we can execute. You’ve got a variety of different guys that contributing in different ways. The only thing I would say different would be that the guys that are the stars of this offense are probably younger than they were in New England.

“We had guys like Randy Moss, Wes Welker, veteran players. We’ve got guys like Tre’Quan [Smith] and we’ve got Michael Thomas obviously and Alvin [Kamara] and Mark [Ingram], and Mark’s the oldest of those four. The offenses are a little bit different, but when you’ve got a guy like No. 9, when you have a guy like No. 12 in New England like we had, it just brings a whole lot of confidence.”

 

The offensive comparisons certainly are warranted after the Saints destroyed the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in a 48-7 win to improve their record to a league-best 9-1.

New Orleans has scored 30-plus points in eight of their first 10 games. The 2007 Patriots scored that many points in nine nof their first 10 games, including two wins with more than 50 points over that span. The most obvious comparison between these teams is at quarterback, where Drew Brees brings Super Bowl-winning experience, like Tom Brady does for the Patriots. Depending on the sportsbook you look at, Brees is either first or second in NFL MVP odds. 

Similar to the 2007 Patriots, the 2018 Saints likely will live or die by their defense. The Saints defense enters Week 12 ranked 16th in points allowed per game and 17th in yards allowed per game. Those numbers aren't bad, but they aren't dominant, either. Brees likely will have to carry the Saints back to the Super Bowl, and if New Orleans is able to secure homefield advantage and play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome throughout the NFC playoffs, you have to like their chances of getting to Atlanta in February.

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