New Orleans schedule and predictions takeaways:
- New Orleans will play consecutive games on Thursday night, facing the Buffalo Bills in Week 12 and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13
- With a Week 6 bye, the Saints close out their 2021 season with 12 consecutive games
The New Orleans Saints schedule for the 2021 NFL season is out as the franchise prepares for life without Drew Brees. With so much uncertainty surrounding this year’s team, things could get rough in New Orleans this fall.
Sean Payton hasn’t committed to a starting quarterback for the upcoming season, but we’ll likely see Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill each play significant snaps. Not only are there questions at QB1, but the Saints’ defense might also take a step back in 2021 after parting ways with key players in free agency.
New Orleans Saints schedule and roster predictions
All our predictions are based on the Saints keeping and starting these key players:
- QB: Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill
- RB: Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray
- WR: Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Juwan Johnson
- TE: Adam Trautman, Nick Vannett
- Defense: No. 17 in our NFL defense rankings
New Orleans Saints 2021 preseason schedule
|Saturday, Aug. 14||@ Baltimore Ravens||7:00 PM||FOX 8|
|Monday, Aug. 23||vs. Jacksonville Jaguars||8:00 PM||ESPN|
|Saturday, Aug. 28||vs. Arizona Cardinals||8:00 PM||FOX 8|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the NFL schedule with our Saints’ game-by-game predictions.
Week 1 – vs. Green Bay Packers
|Sunday, Sept. 12||4:25 PM||FOX|
- Spread: Saints -2.5 (via DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Saints -137, Packers +112
An Aaron Rodgers trade or lengthy regular-season holdout feels inevitable. While the Saints’ quarterback situation is far from ideal, they are way better off than Green Bay if the reigning NFL MVP is out of the picture. With the fans pumped at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, expect New Orleans to enjoy an early celebration.
- Week 1 schedule prediction: Saints 31, Packers 20
Week 2 – @ Carolina Panthers
|Sunday, Sept. 19||1:00 PM||FOX|
New Orleans has enjoyed some recent success in its divisional battles against Carolina, but the Panthers made some nice additions this offseason. While there are some doubts about Sam Darnold as a viable starter, Carolina has great personnel around him and its defense is improving.
- Week 2 schedule prediction: Panthers 28, Saints 24
Week 3 – @ New England Patriots
|Sunday, Sept. 26||1:00 PM||FOX|
The Patriots aren’t going to be nearly as bad as we saw in 2020, that’s what happens when Bill Belichick is extremely aggressive in free agency. New England boasts a top-10 defense and its running game could cause the Saints a lot of problems.
- Week 3 schedule prediction: Patriots 27, Saints 23
Week 4 – vs. New York Giants
|Sunday, Oct. 3||1:00 PM||FOX|
If Winston is the Saints’ starting quarterback, they stand a better chance of beating quality defenses. New York boasts the secondary to match up with Michael Thomas and Co., but it lacks the talent to contain Alvin Kamara. Once the All-Pro back makes some plays, it should open up a few deep shots for Winston and that’s all you need to beat Daniel Jones.
- Week 4 schedule prediction: Saints 24, Giants 17
Week 5 – @ Washington Football Team
|Sunday, Oct. 10||1:00 PM||CBS|
The Washington Football Team will make a strong argument for having the best defense in the NFL this year. The front seven can get home against the Saints’ offensive line, putting relentless pressure on Winston and forcing him to make bad decisions. While Hill’s speed in the RPO could offer different looks, Washington also boasts the athleticism at linebacker and on the edge to contain him.
- Week 5 schedule prediction: Washington Football Team 20, Saints 13
Week 6 – BYE
Week 7 – @ Seattle Seahawks
|Monday, Oct. 25||8:15 PM||ESPN|
Even if New Orleans doesn’t get consistent play from its signal-caller, Kamara and Thomas will make plays against the Seahawks’ defense. But the Saints also don’t have a secondary good enough to contain Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. With the offensive line protecting Russell Wilson improved, he should have little trouble snagging a victory at home.
- Week 7 schedule prediction: Seahawks 28, Saints 27
Week 8 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Sunday, Oct. 31||4:25 PM||FOX|
The Saints and Buccaneers delivered some entertaining football games in 2020, that won’t be the case this year. Tampa Bay boasts superior talent at nearly every position and there’s no reason for the defending Super Bowl champs to lose their edge in a hostile environment. After this loss, it will become quite clear that the Saints need to rebuild.
- Week 8 schedule prediction: Buccaneers 34, Saints 14
Week 9 – vs. Atlanta Falcons
|Sunday, Nov. 7||1:00 PM||FOX|
Even if Julio Jones is traded, the Falcons’ offense is more than capable of getting into shootouts. Unfortunately for football fans in Atlanta, this is one of the shallowest defensive depth charts in the NFL. This matchup could set up nicely for a monster performance from Kamara and whoever is under center.
- Week 9 schedule prediction: Saints 35, Falcons 31
Week 10 – @ Tennessee Titans
|Sunday, Nov. 14||1 PM||CBS|
In the Saints’ final six games of the 2020 season, opponents combined for 759 rushing yards and six touchdowns. While some changes have been made to the defensive front, New Orleans won’t be able to control the football as much without Brees. That means more carries for Derrick Henry, who will destroy the Saints’ defense.
- Week 10 schedule prediction: Titans 27, Saints 17
Week 11 – @ Philadelphia Eagles
|Sunday, Nov. 21||1:00 PM||FOX|
We know what happened the last time New Orleans faced Jalen Hurts, but things should be different this time around. The second-year quarterback is still a major work in progress and that’s still going to be the case late in the season. With Philadelphia lacking the linebackers to adequately cover Kamara, the Saints should come out on top.
- Week 11 schedule prediction: Saints 28, Eagles 23
Week 12 – vs. Buffalo Bills
|Thursday, Nov. 25||8:20 PM||NBC|
Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are going to cook the Saints’ secondary. Buffalo’s offensive line will give its MVP-caliber quarterback all day to throw and an improved receiving corps should help him deliver a jaw-dropping performance in New Orleans. Fortunately for the Saints, this loss puts them one step closer to landing a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft.
- Week 12 schedule prediction: Bills 34, Saints 17
Week 13 – vs. Dallas Cowboys
|Thursday, Dec. 2||8:20 PM||FOX, NFLN|
Dallas fields one of the NFL’s best offenses and it should be firing on all cylinders in December. But the Cowboys’ secondary can be picked apart and Thomas should have no trouble spinning around Trevon Diggs like a top. Unfortunately for the Saints, this is a game where the quarterback advantage makes a difference in a thrilling shootout.
- Week 13 schedule prediction: Cowboys 38, Saints 34
Week 14 – @ New York Jets
|Sunday, Dec. 12||1:00 PM||FOX|
New York’s future is bright with Zach Wilson under center and Robert Saleh overhauling the defense, but it’s going to take some time before this team takes flight. The Saints’ experience and talent at the skill positions should make the difference in this matchup.
- Week 14 schedule prediction: Saints 31, Jets 27
Week 15 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Sunday, Dec. 19||8:20 PM||NBC|
Tom Brady and Co. will face some challenges on their journey to repeating as Super Bowl champions, but the Saints won’t even be a speed bump on that path. Winston will try and get some revenge against his former team, but it will likely result in a pick-six.
- Week 15 schedule prediction: Buccaneers 34, Saints 21
Week 16 – vs. Miami Dolphins
|Monday, Dec. 27||8:15 PM||ESPN|
If Tua Tagovailoa becomes the quarterback Miami believes he can be, this team is a Super Bowl contender. The Dolphins’ offense will be a lot more explosive in 2021, meaning this underrated defense won’t always have to carry the team to victories.
- Week 16 schedule prediction: Dolphins 30, Saints 23
Week 17 – vs. Carolina Panthers
|Sunday, Jan. 2||1:00 PM||FOX|
In the Saints’ final home game of the season, Hill will likely be the focal point to help Sean Payton evaluate his long-term options at quarterback. With the Panthers out of the playoff picture and realizing Darnold isn’t the answer, New Orleans gets some revenge for its early-season loss.
- Week 17 schedule prediction: Saints 28, Panthers 21
Week 18 – @ Atlanta Falcons
|Sunday, Jan. 9||1:00 PM||FOX|
The Saints and Falcons may be battling for draft position this season, which makes these two matchups an underrate storyline of the upcoming season. If New Orleans wins both, which we expect, it could be a turning point for the future of the NFC South as Atlanta lands the better quarterback prospect.
- Week 18 schedule prediction: Saints 27, Falcons 24