NFL 2021 New Orleans Saints: Full Schedule, Predictions & Key Games
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This year’s schedule obviously includes two games against the defending champs. But that won’t be the only marquee opponent visiting New Orleans this season. The Cowboys, Bills and Packers will also make the trip to the Superdome this year, according to USAToday.
The New Orleans Saints schedule for the 2021 NFL season
The New Orleans Saints' 2021 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate on Wednesday.
The 2021 NFL season will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 9 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Dallas Cowboys (8:20 p.m. ET). ESPN’s Monday Night Football opener on Sept. 13 will feature the Las Vegas Raiders hosting the Baltimore Ravens (8:15 p.m. ET).
The NFL will change its schedule for the first time in 44 years, expanding to 17 regular-season games. The final regular-season games will be played January 9, 2022. The playoffs begin January 15, 2022 and continue through Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, 2022 at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium.
Here's what's in store for the Saints:
Sept. 12: vs. Green Bay
Sept. 19: at Carolina
Sept. 26: at New England
Oct. 3: vs. NY Giants
Oct. 10: at Washington
Oct. 17: Bye
Oct. 25: at Seattle
Oct. 31: vs. Tampa Bay
Nov. 7: vs. Atlanta
Nov. 14: at Tennessee
Nov. 21: at Philadelphia
Nov. 25: vs. Buffalo
Dec. 2: vs. Dallas
Dec. 12: at N.Y. Jets
Dec. 19: at Tampa Bay
Dec. 27: vs. Miami
Jan. 2: vs. Carolina
Jan. 9: at Atlanta
Strength of schedule: 22nd, .483
The Saints announced their new 17-game regular season schedule on Wednesday.
New Orleans has five prime-time games set again this season in which it'll play the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins.
They'll open the regular season on September 12 at home against the Green Bay Packers, according to NOLA.
Overall, this schedule isn’t too frightening. But the Saints will have to avoid a Halloween hangover at home on Oct. 31 against their biggest current nemesis, Tampa Bay. New Orleans will start that week 2,500 miles away at Seattle on Monday night before making the long trip home and having a short week to rally. Otherwise, it’s hard to find many complaints. The Saints get to rest up with a Week 6 bye before that trip to Seattle. They get to host Buffalo on Thanksgiving instead of traveling on a short week. And there are no wintry weather concerns over the final four weeks.
In a reverse of last year, this time New Orleans will get swept by Tampa Bay in the regular season -- then get revenge in the playoffs. The schedule will help the Bucs in Week 8 and Week 15 (prime time in Tampa). But the Saints still match up well against the reigning champs, according to ESPN.
2020 marked the end of the Drew Brees era. What are the odds the Taysom Hill era is about to last the next 15 years?
It's always hard to replace "the guy." That task becomes even harder when you're expected to do so with just 134 passing attempts across four seasons in the league.
In an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, head coach Sean Payton simply said both Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston would have opportunities before breaking down the other quarterbacks on the roster, including rookie Ian Book.
But Payton's love for Hill is well known at this point, and he started four games for the Saints in 2020, going 3-1 as the starter.
Either way, the Saints will have a drop-off in quarterback play in 2021. Neither Hill (10 fumbles in 2020) nor Winston (30 interceptions in his last year as a starter in Tampa) takes care of the ball as well as Brees did.
That's bad news for a team that lost several key contributors outside of Brees through free agency. Emmanuel Sanders, Janoris Jenkins, Jared Cook, Trey Hendrickson and Alex Anzalone all found new homes.
For better or worse, the Saints will be under a microscope in the post-Brees era. They are currently scheduled for five primetime games, tied for most in the league.
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