2013 NFL Season Schedule: Predicting Every Game for the New Orleans Saints

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New Orleans Saints 2013 NFL Schedule: Predictions for Every Game

New Orleans Saints Huddle
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints' 2013 NFL schedule has been released and there are some great games to be played. There are some big games for the Saints next season and the team is hoping to have a winning record in 2013.

Last season the Saints finished at 7-9 and missed the playoffs, but next season the team is looking to return to the playoffs. The Saints will unveil their new defense as the team looks to improve upon their historically bad defense of last season.

New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will bring intensity and toughness, but none of that will matter unless the Saints’ defense comes with the same attitude. After last season the defense can only improve. However, one thing that the Saints can always rely on is their offense.

With the return of head coach Sean Payton the Saints’ offense should continue to click on all cylinders. Furthermore, if the Saints recommit to a ground game their offense will only get better. Payton and Drew Brees make a great duo and having the Saints’ head coach back should catapult the team back into the playoffs.

The Saints’ offense has rarely been in question, but one big hole for the team is a starting left tackle. There are some players that will compete for the spot, but all have a history of injuries. The Saints’ left tackle will be a position to monitor as the season progresses and it will be vital for the team’s success.

One thing is for sure, the Saints’ offense will still be one of best in the NFL, and the biggest question mark will be their defense. The Saints will have a tough schedule, but they should win enough games to get back in the playoffs and contend for the NFC South title. Furthermore, with Payton back and hopefully a better defense, the Saints should vastly improve next season. Let’s take a look at a game by game prediction for the Saints’ 2013 NFL season.

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Week 1: New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons

Saints vs Falcons
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, September 8th 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The first home game against their bitter rivals is sure to be electric and I think the Saints should come out on top. The Atlanta Falcons are a very good football team, but the Saints proved last season that they could beat the Falcons even when their team was not at full strength. Last season the two rivals split the season series and the same could happen again this year. However, with the Saints being at home against the Falcons they will definitely win the game. Final Prediction: Saints win 35-27.

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Week 2: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers vs Saints
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, September 15th 2013

Time: 3:05 PM CT

Location: Raymond James Stadium

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell just short against the Saints at home last year, and it could be more of the same next season. The Bucs lost on a last minute touchdown at Raymond James Stadium last year, and they will definitely be gunning for the Saints this season. However, with Sean Payton back the Saints’ offense will be firing on all cylinders, and the Bucs will be another team to succumb to the juggernaut offense of the Saints. The Saints will be on a mission this season and they will beat their division rivals on the road. Final Prediction: Saints win 31-21.

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Week 3: New Orleans Saints vs Arizona Cardinals

Saints vs Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, September 22nd 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Saints haven’t played the Arizona Cardinals since the Hall of Fame game last season, but this time the two teams will meet up in the regular season. The Cardinals started last season 4-0, but ended the season at 1-11 so the Saints should be able to beat the Cardinals and their inconsistent play. The Saints’ offense will probably be too much for the Cardinals to handle and the Saints should dominate the Cardinals. Final Prediction: Saints win 30-17.

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Week 4: New Orleans Saints vs Miami Dolphins

Saints vs Dolphins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Monday, September 30th 2013

Time: 7:40 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Miami Dolphins finished with the same record as the Saints last season, but the Saints will be the better team in 2013. The Saints don’t lose too many games at home, and the noise in the Superdome could be a huge factor as the Dolphins are not used to playing in a dome. Furthermore, the Dolphins ranked 27th in pass defense last season, and the Saints’ dynamic offense will prove to be too much for them. The Saints should win this game easily and could have a great home record next season. Final Prediction: Saints win 35-17.

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Week 5: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Bears vs Saints
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, October 6th 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Soldier Field

The Chicago Bears failed to meet expectations last season, but something tells me they will improve, especially on offense. The Bears’ defense will not miss a beat, but with an improved offense this could be a tough matchup for the Saints. If this game becomes a shootout I think fellow gunslinger Jay Cutler might come out on top. Furthermore, the Bears’ defense could prove to be too much for the Saints. If the Saints hope to beat the Bears, they cannot afford any turnovers. Final Prediction: Bears win 24-17.

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Week 6: New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots

Patriots vs Saints
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, October 13th 2013

Time: 3:25 PM CT

Location: Gillette Stadium

Another tough road contest for the Saints and they could fall to the New England Patriots. The Patriots almost never lose at home, and the Saints’ defense will have their hands full with Tom Brady and his offense. If Drew Brees and his offense can outscore the Patriots then they will win this game. The Patriots ranked 29th in pass defense last season, so if Brees and his receivers can exploit the Patriot's secondary, they could win the game. Bottom line is that this game will be close, but I think the Patriots will come out on top. Final Prediction: Patriots win 35-31.

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Week 7: BYE WEEK

Saints Bye Week
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, October 20th 2013

Having their bye week during week seven should give the Saints plenty of time to rest up and make a push for the postseason. At this point I have the Saints' record at 4-2 so they should be fully rested as the prepare for Buffalo Bills the following week. I really think the Saints have a good shot at having a great home record, but in order to lock up a good seed for the playoffs the team must prove they can win on the road. Nonetheless, the bye week will be crucial for the Saints as they figure out what they want to do going forward. Furthermore, if there are any key injuries an extra week of rest will be very valuable.

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Week 8: New Orleans Saints vs Buffalo Bills

Saints vs Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, October 27th 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Buffalo Bills finished 6-10 last season, and I am not sure they will improve upon that mark. The Bills did hire a new head coach so there could be a transition process and some growing pains for the team. The Bills' defense was near the bottom last season in rush defense, so the Saints’ offense should have no problem with them especially at home. The Saints need to establish a ground game against the Bills because that will open up the passing game. If the Saints can have a balanced offensive attack it will be a long night for the Bills. I would look for the Saints to light up the scoreboard against the Bills and run them out of the building. Final Prediction: Saints win 40-21.

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Week 9: New Orleans Saints at New York Jets

Jets vs Saints
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, November 3rd 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: MetLife Stadium

Just about any team should be able to beat the New York Jets. The Jets are still in disarray following last season, and the Saints will show no mercy. Despite their second ranked pass defense last season, the Saints’ offense should be more than enough to get them a victory at Metlife Stadium. The Jets were not very good at stopping the run last season, so the Saints should look to pound the ball up the middle and run all over the Jets. Furthermore, if the Saints can run the ball it would open up their play-action and really torch the Jets’ defense. Final Prediction: Saints win 27-17.

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Week 10: New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys

Saints vs Cowboys
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, November 10th 2013

Time: 7:30 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Saints should be able to beat the Dallas Cowboys at home, but it could come down to a shootout between Drew Brees and Tony Romo. However, the Saints should come out on top because their receiving corps as a unit is better than the Cowboys’. Furthermore, if the Saints can establish a ground game and attack the Cowboys’ defense with a balanced attack they should win. It also figures to be an advantage for the Saints since former Cowboys defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, is the Saints’ new defensive coordinator. Final Prediction: Saints win 35-27.

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Week 11: New Orleans Saints vs San Francisco 49ers

Saints vs 49ers
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, November 17th 2013

Time: 3:25 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benze Superdome

This game against the San Francisco 49ers could be the one home game the Saints might lose. The 49ers figure to have a huge chip on their collective shoulders since coming up short in last season’s Super Bowl and could be the best in the NFC next season. Last season the Saints lost to the 49ers at home, and I’m not sure they will be able to beat them this season. The 49ers' defense is one of the best in the NFL, and unless Drew Brees and his receivers get some help the Saints might not stand a chance. Final Prediction: 49ers win 28-21.

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Week 12: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Falcons vs Saints
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Thursday, November 21st 2013

Time: 7:25 PM CT

Location: Georgia Dome

Honestly, any game against the Atlanta Falcons will be a tough game for the Saints and it can go either way, but I think the Falcons will beat the Saints at home. Last season the Saints were only 3-5 on the road, and one of their road losses came to the Falcons. The rivalry between the two teams is one of the best in the NFL, and any game between the Saints and the Falcons is sure to be a close contest. I think the Saints and Falcons will split the season series again as both teams will win at home. Final Prediction: Falcons win 28-24.

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Week 13: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks vs Saints
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Monday, December 2nd 2013

Time: 7:40 PM CT

Location: CenturyLink Field

This will be one of the more entertaining games of the Saints’ season as Drew Brees and Russell Wilson square off. The Seattle Seahawks should be able to win this game against the Saints because their defense will probably be better. If it comes down to a shootout it could be close, but Wilson is the more mobile quarterback and has proven he can come up big down the stretch. Furthermore, with Percy Harvin in the mix, the Seahawks’ offense will be even better next season. This will be one road game the Saints will not win unfortunately. Final Prediction: Seahawks win 28-20.

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Week 14: New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers

Saints vs Panthers
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, December 8th 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

When the Saints host the Carolina Panthers it will be another divisional showdown. The way I see it, the Saints should not lose to any divisional rival at home, and I don’t think they’ll lose to the Panthers at home. Cam Newton is a phenomenal quarterback, but he does not have as many weapons as Drew Brees. Furthermore, if it turns into a shootout my money is on Brees. The Saints won’t forget losing to the Panthers twice last season, and if the Saints do improve from last season, the Panthers won’t stand a chance. Final Prediction: Saints win 28-24.

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Week 15: New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams

Rams vs Saints
Joe Toth-US Presswire

Date: Sunday, December 15th 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Edward Jones Stadium

Despite being a road game, the Saints should have no problems with the St. Louis Rams. The Rams were in the middle of the pack both offensively and defensively, but if it comes down to a shootout between Sam Bradford and Drew Brees, my money is on Brees. The Saints’ defense could be put to the test against the Rams, and it would be nice to see them get after the quarterback in this game. The Saints should be able to maintain pace and knock off the Rams. Final Prediction: Saints win 24-21.

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Week 16: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Panthers vs Saints
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, December 22nd 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Bank of America Stadium

This season the Saints could own the NFC South with their only competition coming from the Falcons. The Saints should win both games against the Carolina Panthers, even if this one is on the road. The Saints’ offense will be too much for the Panthers’ defense and the Saints will avenge both losses from last season. If the Saints want to improve this season they will need to prove that they can win on the road, and they should regain division supremacy next season. Final Prediction: Saints win 31-24.

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Week 17: New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saints vs Buccaneers
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, December 29th 2013

Time: 12:00 PM CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Does anyone remember when the Saints shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home? The Saints sure do, and last season the Saints demolished the Bucs at home to the tune of 41-0. Furthermore, the Saints beat the Bucs in both games last season and should continue their supremacy over the Bucs. I see much of the same happening again next season when the Bucs visit the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints' firepower will prove to be too much again, and the Saints should easily walk away with another victory. Final Prediction: Saints win 40-21.

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Final Prediction of 2013 Season: New Orleans Saints Finish 11-5

New Orleans Saints
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Next season the Saints will undoubtedly improve and could see themselves heading back to the postseason. I predict the Saints will finish 11-5 in the 2013 NFL season and could be vying for NFC South supremacy yet again. The biggest question mark for the Saints next season is will their defense improve?

The Saints’ defense was at the bottom of the pack last season, but if they can improve defensively their record should improve. If the Saints’ defense can climb up into the middle of the pack, then the team will have a shot to go very far next season. There is reason to believe that the Saints’ defense can and will improve next season.

With Rob Ryan as the new defensive coordinator, the Saints’ defense will transition to a 3-4 scheme and the Saints have been adding a lot of players familiar with the system. The Saints need their defense to get a lot better, and their offense will take care of the rest.

The Saints will once again have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and with Sean Payton back they could be the best offensive team in the NFL. Drew Brees and his receivers will continue to light up the scoreboard next season, and the Saints will win a lot of games with their offense. One thing the Saints need to improve upon next season is their ground game.

Last season the Saints had some success when they committed to a ground game, and this season their running backs will need to get a lot more carries. If the Saints can establish their ground game, they will become more of a complete team and make a good run to the playoffs.

The Saints will finish at 11-5 this season as they have a lot to prove after everything that happened last year. The Saints will be playing with a chip on their shoulder this season and could prove to be a very dangerous team.

Alejandro Aviles is the Featured Writer for the New Orleans Saints at Rant Sports @aaviles312


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