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Breaking down the New Orleans Saints' 2010 schedule Part II (slideshow)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New Orleans Saints are only about three weeks away from beginning their first ever regular season against the Minnesota Vikings on a Thursday night. They will be defending their Super Bowl championship and be the target of every team ...

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Old 08-20-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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The New Orleans Saints are only about three weeks away from beginning their first ever regular season against the Minnesota Vikings on a Thursday night. They will be defending their Super Bowl championship and be the target of every team on their schedule.

Here is part two of the Saints' schedule broken down into four-game tiers in order of their importance to the Saints' overall season. Please believe me that every game has some meaning to the black and gold's record as well as their playoff chances, positioning, and chance of winning the NFC South.

Catch up on the first part of this series by clicking this link: Breaking down the Saints' season one game at a time

Below you'll see the next four games on the schedule that finish up the bottom half of eight on the list. You might be able to guess where the games should fall in matter of importance, but there are a lot of factors that need to be weighed in.

~ Is it a divisional game?
~ Are the teams in the AFC or NFC?
~ What is the opposing team's chance of making the playoffs?
~ Is the team rebuilding or a contender?

Those are just a few of the deciding factors, but I took it upon myself to figure it all out for you. So low and behold, here is part two in the four-part series.

9.) Carolina Panthers (Week 9 @ Carolina)
So the split in the schedule comes not only with a dis\visional game, but also with one that the Saints lost last year. Sure it was the final game of the season and most of the starters were on the bench, but you never want to have the same result of a loss two years in a row. Carolina is going to be at home in the beginning of November when it'll be cold. That just never bodes well for teams coming from domed stadiums. The Saints are going to want to start the second half of the season off right by picking up a victory here so that is why it heads up the bottom tier of games for a midway split. Carolina is right on the cusp of competing for the NFC South with New Orleans and Atlanta so this is not a game th Saints can just sleep on. The Panthers will possibly be fighting for a wild card playoff spot and a victory by the Saints here would do a lot to dampen their spirits and raise those of the black and gold.

10.) Cincinnati Bengals (Week 13)
Before I'm crucified here for having this game so low in the importance scale of things, let me explain. The Bengals are a very good team and will surely be competing in the upper echelon of the AFC. See that? That's why this game is in the lower half of the countdown is because they are in the AFC and a loss would hurt the Saints, but it won't have any bearing on tie-breakers and what not when the season ends. Cincinnati now has a wide receiver tandem of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. They'll be going up against one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL in Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter. That's the match-up the fans can't wait to see here. Especially after holding Owens without a catch last season when he was in Buffalo. This is a game many are looking forward to seeing because it'll be a battle between two powerhouses in the NFL, but not on that comes with a result having much bearing on the season. Whoever wins is going to have some nice bragging rights though.

Breaking down the New Orleans Saints' 2010 schedule Part II (slideshow) - New Orleans New Orleans Saints | Examiner.com

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