Okay Saints fans, here is a look at who will face your team of black and gold this fall. Right off the bat, can we get a Who Dat for no Seattle Seahawks in the Saints 2014 schedule?
The New Orleans Saints schedule for the 2014 NFL Season: pic.twitter.com/Lexacfn3JZ
— Andrew Schuster (@ShootsMcGavin) April 23, 2014
According to USA Today
In addition to their NFC South rivals, the Saints will face every team from the NFC North and AFC North, and the second-place finishers from the NFC East and NFC West.
Their strength of schedule is 10th-easiest in the NFL.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) April 24, 2014
Out of the Saints first five games of the season, three are away games including the Week 1 season opener with NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons. The first prime-time game for the Saints takes place when they travel to spar off with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
I’ll bet you thought you’d be stuck looking at a picture of Tony Romo there.
So after five matchups with the Falcons, Browns, Vikings, Cowboys and Buccaneers, the Saints take a week off in Week 6 for their bye. The Saints then face the Lions and their next prime-time opponent October 26th in Week 8, when they host the Green Bay Packers.
This is when things begin to get more competitive for the Saints. The Packers aren’t exactly an easy opponent, and to make matters more difficult, the Saints come around on a short week to play in Carolina just four days later for Thursday Night Football. And, wait it gets worse because next up on November 9th in Week 10, the San Francisco 49ers travel to New Orleans to deliver their usual dose of defensive torture.
While the Saints will be able to enjoy the pleasure of two home games back to back, next up are the Cincinnati Bengals and another Monday Night Football performance against the Baltimore Ravens. Now, don’t get too comfortable guys, because November 30 could present the Saints with some snow in Pittsburgh. We all know that Drew Brees plays better in the comfort of his temperature-perfect dome.
With little rest for the weary, the Saints match up for the second time against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans on December 7.
If the Saints do happen to get lucky when in Pittsburgh, they could surely face brutal weather factors, when they play at windy and possibly snowy Soldier Stadium on yet another Monday night game on December 15.
This definitely makes me want to grab a parka and snow boots.
The Saints regular season closes with one more game against both the Falcons and Buccaneers. Overall, the Saints schedule of opponents surely seems easier at the beginning and end of the season, where opponents include the Buccaneers, Vikings, Cowboys, and Falcons. Not to say these teams are slouches, but weeks 8-15 will test the Saints strengths and their defense with the Packers, 49ers, Bengals, and a double-dose of the Carolina Panthers.
Also, it’s a well-known fact that the Saints tend to struggle when away from home, so weather-challenging games at Pittsburgh and Chicago are not out of the question and could present the Saints with some bumpy terrain.
What do you think of the Saints schedule for 2014? I’m thinking it’s looking about 50/50 with the Saints finishing the season 8-8 based on their opponents and travel.
Photo: Crystal LoGiudice, USA Today Sports