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TheOak 06-25-2013 12:25 PM

New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
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Sean Payton returns to the New Orleans Saints after his team went through a tortuous 2012 season. He has his sights set on a return to the postseason this fall. And since scheduling plays a huge role in the outcome of every NFL season, Athlon is analyzing every team's 16-game slate.

New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule:

Week 1: Atlanta
Week 2: at Tampa Bay
Week 3: Arizona
Week 4: Miami (Mon.)
Week 5: at Chicago
Week 6: at New England
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Buffalo
Week 9: at New York Jets
Week 10: Dallas
Week 11: San Francisco
Week 12: at Atlanta (Thurs.)
Week 13: at Seattle (Mon.)
Week 14: Carolina
Week 15: at St. Louis
Week 16: at Carolina
Week 17: Tampa Bay

Out of the Gate: There will be loads of intensity in the home season opener against arch rival Atlanta in the Superdome as Payton makes his triumphant return to the sideline. But after that, three games with Tampa Bay, Arizona and Miami shouldn't scare Drew Brees and company. A 3-1 mark to start the year is a very real possibility.

Toughest Stretch:
There is an unenviable four-week stretch to end November that could decide the Saints' postseason fate. New Orleans will have back-to-back home games with the NFC postseason hopefuls Dallas and San Francisco before facing the Falcons on a short week and the Seahawks on a long one on the road. The only comfort will be the extra three days of rest between the trip to Atlanta and the trip to Seattle. From Week 11 to Week 13, the Saints could face the best three teams in the NFC.

Swing Games:
at CHI (Week 5), DAL (Week 10) Crossover Divisions: NFC West, AFC East Bye Week: Week 7 Opp. 2012 W/L %: .539 (3rd) Athlon's SOS Rank: 11th Easiest Stretch: Both the first and last month of the regular season are fairly manageable, but the final four weeks seem like a big blessing for the Big Easy. Not only were all four teams under .500 a year ago but three of them will come in the division. A road game at the Rams will be the toughest game of the final four weeks.

Circle The Calendar:
Drew Brees' consecutive game streak with a touchdown pass would be tied by Tom Brady the same week the Saints come to town in a strategically placed bout with the Patriots. Recent radio fodder from "Mayhem in the AM" only adds fuel to the Falcons-Saints fire, so both of those games are worth circling. But Payton's return to the sideline in the Superdome in the season opener against division favorite and arch rival Atlanta in Week 1 has to be the biggest date on the calendar for Who Dat nation.

Divisional Notes:
The Saints have an odd divisional slate as they will start the season with two NFC South games and will finish the year with three out of four coming within the division. Playing Cam Newton twice in a three-week span in the second half of the year could be sneaky dangerous. And the massive road game at Atlanta will come on a short week between physical tests with San Francisco and Seattle.

Playoff Push:
Few teams will have the opportunity to win games in the final four weeks like the Saints. Two games with Carolina and one each with St. Louis and Tampa bodes extremely well for New Orleans' push for the postseason. All three teams pose interesting challenges but combined for 26 losses a year ago and none are predicted to make the postseason in 2013.

Fantasy Playoff Run (Weeks 14-16): Sean Payton is back to steer the Saintsí offense, which gets a double dose of Carolina in the fantasy playoffs. Believe it or not, but the Panthers were top five against fantasy WRs last season. If this holds up again, it could be good news for Jimmy Graham owners, as Carolina didnít perform nearly as well (23rd) against TEs. The Rams also were a top-10 fantasy defense against WRs last season.
New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis |

WhoDat!656 06-25-2013 01:51 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
" A 3-1 mark to start the year is a very real possibility."

Week 1: Atlanta
Week 2: at Tampa Bay
Week 3: Arizona
Week 4: Miami (Mon.)

So is 4-0!!

halloween 65 06-25-2013 01:58 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
Tough stretch and playoff run I look forward to. All games actually but to me those should be really good. A good test for the D to respond!!

Rugby Saint II 06-25-2013 05:00 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
The game that I am most concerned with is Atlanta. It is our first game under a new system and a new coordinator. That doesn't bode well in my opinion. Drew and Sean had better have a great day if we want to start out with a win .

saintsfan1976 06-25-2013 06:51 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
I'd rather the meat of our schedule be mid season and not beginning or end.

ClintSaints 06-26-2013 07:25 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis

saintfan 06-26-2013 07:43 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis

WillSaints81 06-27-2013 05:14 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
the Atlanta and Miami games are the ones I'm concerned about. And I believe that if we lost to Atlanta we better win in Chicago and go 3-1 against the AFC East or 4-0 against AFC East if we lose to them.

I'm seeing records ranging from 9-7 to 12-4. 13-3 maybe but not getting hopes up.

Definite wins(to me):@Tampa Bay, Arizona, @New England, Buffalo, @New York Jets, San Francisco(thought more on this), Carolina, @St.Louis.
Definite losses: At least 2 games in the division and I'm gonna say we lose to Dallas as well. I'm seeing a 2009 vibe to that matchup.
Could go either way: Our division games against Atlanta I think its a sweep one way or the other, our game at Carolina, and at home against Tampa Bay. Also at Chicago, at Seattle, and against Miami.

Meaning there is the possibility of going 4-2 or 2-4 in the division(we went 3-3 last year), going 3-1 or 4-0 against the AFC East and NFC West divisions. And going 0-2 or splitting the swing games. I believe we get at least one of the pending games making it anywhere from 9-7 to 12-4.

ProMallNinja 06-28-2013 08:35 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
I have us going 12-4 with the losses coming from Week 2 Tampa Bay, Week 5 Chicago, Week 12 Atlanta, & Week 16 Carolina.

My logic is that Tampa Bay will be much improved this year, and, for our first match up, we will be riding high (and a bit overconfident) on an opening victory over Atlanta. The Chicago game will be a shoot out, & I'm giving them the edge on a hunch and with home field advantage. Atlanta will split with us by taking their Thursday night home game against us after our short week and another emotional victory over San Francisco. I hate that we play Carolina twice in three weeks. One of the toughest things to do in all of sports is beat a team multiple times in one season. I'm letting them have their home game.

My prediction has us going undefeated at home and getting payback from San Francisco and Seattle for the two toughest postseason losses of Coach Payton's career up to this point. If this is the way out regular season turns out, how could we complain. Let's spit in Goodell's face and get this second ring. Who DAT?!

WillSaints81 08-05-2013 09:42 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints 2013 Schedule Analysis
Thats possible. But if we win week 1 against Atlanta we win week 12. For one, I think Payton would want us to win the Atlanta game more than SF and we may not have to play all four qs against SF I do not see them having the same kind of season. Crabtree may not be back at all this season and teams will have tape on CK. Sorry, but he is not Newton-esque.

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