The NFL has released each teams 2012 Regular Season schedule exclusively on NFL.com and the NFL Network on April 17, 2011. The following schedule is for the New Orleans Saints.
- Week 1: vs Washington Redskins 1:00 FOX
- Week 2: at Carolina Panthers 1:00 FOX
- Week 3: vs Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 CBS
- Week 4: at Green Bay Packers 4:15 FOX
- Week 5: vs San Diego Chargers 8:20 NBC
- Week 6: BYE
- Week 7: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 FOX
- Week 8: at Denver Broncos 8:20 NBC
- Week 9: vs Philadelphia Eagles 8:30 ESPN
- Week 10: vs Atlanta Falcons 1:00 FOX
- Week 11: at Oakland Raiders 4:05 FOX
- Week 12: vs San Francisco 49ers 4:15 FOX
- Week 13: at Atlanta Falcons 8:20 NFL Network
- Week 14: at New York Giants 4:15 FOX
- Week 15: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 FOX
- Week 16: at Dallas Cowboys 1:00 FOX
- Week 17: vs Carolina Panthers 1:00 FOX
As you can tell this year the NFC South will be facing the AFC West. This will pin the Saints up against new Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for the first time since the 2009 Super Bowl. Among the Broncos new additions the Saints will face will be cornerback Tracy Porter who signed there as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated games on this schedule will be the re-match of the 2011 NFC Divisional Playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers when they head into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A game that found the Saints not able to stop 49ers and quarterback Alex Smith on two late drives. The Saints lost that game 36-32 at Candlestick Park.
The Saints will also travel to Lambeau Field again for the second consecutive year to take on the Green Bay Packers. If it’s anything like the first match-up it should be a dandy. New Orleans will be looking for revenge against the defending MVP Aaron Rodgers. In the 2011 season opener last year, the Saints were stuffed at the goal line as time expired and fell 42-34.
Last, the New Orleans Saints make their return to “Jerry’s World” when they take on the Dallas Cowboys. Their last two meetings have been fantastic with each time winning one. In 2010 on Thanksgiving Day the two teams had a nail-biter when Saints safety made a game-saving strip to give the Saints the win 30-27. The Saints are 6-1 in their last seven meetings since 1998 with the Cowboys, their only loss coming in 2009 when the Cowboys rode into the Louisiana Superdome and gave the Saints their first loss of the season 24-17.
It’ll be interesting to see how the New Orleans Saints defense improves with their new additions and new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo causing the shots.
The Saints have the 11th toughest schedule (tied with Dallas and the Seattle Seahawks) in the NFL based on last years records. Their opponents have a combined record of 129-127 with a winning percentage of .504, with five games against quality opponents (teams that won nine games or more in 2011.)