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NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 26: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws the ball during the first half of a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Every year there are teams that come out of nowhere to make a deep run in the playoffs, Today we take a look at a team from the NFC that had a losing record last year that could make a deep playoff run.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints are always a threat in any given game, because of future Hall of Fame Quarterback Drew Brees. What makes the Saints stick out even more this year and could make them an even bigger threat is the way they have strengthened themselves at positions where they were weak last year.

On offense last year, the Saints offensive line was middle of the pack. They addressed this and improved in the draft by selecting Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk. If center Max Unger can come back and play at his normal level on the Saints offensive line, add to that a healthy Terron Armstead, and the Saints should have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL.

The running back position should be upgraded big-time with the addition of Adrian Peterson. Add him with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara and the running back corps for the Saints should be as strong as anybody’s.

At Wide Receiver the trio of Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, and Willie Snead combined for a whopping 3,205 receiving yards in 2016. The addition of Ted Ginn Jr. will give the Saints more depth at this position. The key will be staying healthy. If they do, Drew Brees will have a ton of weapons at his disposal.

Defense is always the worry with the Saints it seems, and it still is, but this off-season saw them address those needs.

A major key on the defensive line will be having a healthy Sheldon Rankins and probably the biggest key will be the need for a monster year from Cam Jordan. The defensive line to me is still a huge worry for the Saints.

Craig Robertson and Nate Stupar played surprisingly well last year, but overall this was a unit that needs to be upgraded for the coming season and the only real addition here was A.J. Klein, who was a backup in Carolina.

The defensive backs should be much better with the addition of Marshon Lattimore at the corner position. Delvin Breaux will do a solid job at the other corner spot and Sterling Moore will play the slot corner. This unit should be leaps and bounds ahead of last years.

As always, the Saints’ chances of being a surprise contender will rely on the ability of their defense to stop people. And while I still question the front seven, the defense will not have to be top 5 for this team to contend. Let’s face it, the Saints are going to score a lot of points, but I believe with the improvement on the back end of the defense the Saints have a shot to make a run this season.

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