Coming off a disappointing 2012 season, the New Orleans Saints will be looking to get back on track, and back into the postseason in 2013. With the release of the new NFL schedule, fans will get their first glimpse of just how difficult that process will be for New Orleans in the upcoming year.
Let’s take a look at the Saints’ regular season schedule:
Week 1 – Atlanta Falcons
Week 2 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 3 – Arizona Cardinals
Week 4 – Miami Dolphins (MNF)
Week 5 – @ Chicago Bears
Week 6 – @ New England Patriots
Week 7 – BYE
Week 8 – Buffalo Bills
Week 9 – @ New York Jets
Week 10 – Dallas Cowboys (SNF)
Week 11 – @ San Francisco 49ers
Week 12 – @ Atlanta Falcons (TNF)
Week 13 – @ Seattle Seahawks (MNF)
Week 14 – Carolina Panthers
Week 15 – @ St. Louis Rams
Week 16 – @ Carolina Panthers
Week 17 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What jumps out to me, is the fact the Saints play two crucial division game to start the season. The defending AFC South champs come to town in week one, and the following week they travel to play a tough Tampa team. If the Saints want to erase last year’s failures, it’s crucial they at least split their first two games. They absolutely cannot afford to go 0-2, in the very competitive NFC.
Weeks three and four should provide opportunities at victories, but weeks five and six will be a true test of how much the Saints have improved in 2013. Heading to Soldier Field and Gillette Stadium in consecutive weeks is no easy task, and it’s safe to say the week seven bye, will come just at the right time. If the Saints can at least be at .500 going into their bye, I like their chances of competing for a wild-card spot.
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