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New Orleans Saints - 2013 Schedule & Notes

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New Orleans Saints – 2013 Schedule

Date

Opponent

 

Time

PRESEASON

8/9/13

vs Kansas City

 

7p

8/16/13

vs Oakland

 

7p

8/25/13

at Houston

 

3p

8/29/13

at Miami

 

6:30p

REGULAR SEASON

9/8/13

vs Atlanta

 

12p

9/15/13

at Tampa

 

3:05p

9/22/13

vs Arizona

 

12p

9/30/13

vs Miami

 

7:40p

10/6/13

at Chicago

 

12p

10/13/13

at New England

 

3:25p

10/20/13

open

10/27/13

vs Buffalo

 

12p

11/3/13

at New York Jets

 

12p

11/10/13

vs Dallas

 

7:30p

11/17/13

vs San Francisco

 

3:25p

11/21/13

at Atlanta

 

7:25p

12/2/13

at Seattle

 

7:40p

12/8/13

vs Carolina

 

12p

12/15/13

at St. Louis

 

12p

12/22/13

at Carolina

 

12p

12/29/13

vs Tampa

 

12p

 

Notes on the New Orleans Saints

They Move the Chains: Let's try to erase 2012 Saints season out of the NFL history books. Unprecedented league suspensions flattened the franchise and resulted in a 7-9 season. The Saints start this year looking to wash that bitter taste of their mouths. A motivated Drew Brees is anxious to get back on the field and return the Saints back into championship contention. Brees is coming off a season in which he threw for 5177 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. Even though he led the league in both passing yards and touchdowns, his numbers were actually down from an even more spectacular 2011 season. The future Hall of Fame quarterback gets his best friend, Sean Payton, back calling the plays. You can expect Payton to call Jimmy Graham's number early and often. Despite a dip in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in 2012, Graham is still one of the top two tight ends in the league. He is a physical freak and if he comes into the year fully healthy, he should have a monster season. With Colston, Sproles, Ingram, and Moore in the mix, the Saints will again look like an offensive machine. The only offensive question mark will be at left tackle.

Blitz Patrol: The biggest free-agent acquisition New Orleans made was a guy who doesn't wear pads. The energetic Rob Ryan is the new defensive coordinator for the black and gold. He's a players' coach and it appears the defense has already bought in to what he's selling. What he brings is a 3-4 scheme with a lot of pre-snap movement. Similarities between new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams are hard to miss. And for the most part that's mostly a good thing. Ryan has a colorful personality with an aggressive style that brings excitement and energy to franchise. With only eight sacks last season, Ryan's unit has to find a way to get to the quarterback. After giving up the most yard in the NFL history in 2012, the Saints defense can only get better.

Cleats to Fill: Offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod left in free agency for Chicago leaving Brees blind side vulnerable. Coach Payton has said Bushrod's departure has made him lose sleep at night. There's two guys expected to compete to fill that void. Veteran Charles Brown or raw, talented rookie Terron Armstead will compete in training camp to see who wins the starting nod.

Unsung Hero: Sean Payton may sound like a strange pick as the unsung hero, however this franchise missed him last season. He returns to the team after a season-long suspension and New Orleans couldn't be more excited. His play calling and leadership are what the Saints were missing from their 2012 squad. This unsung hero is a guy who will never play a down, but whose impact is immeasurable and irreplaceable.

Must-See Matchup: The marquee matchup outside the division will be when the 49ers return to New Orleans on November 17th. Their last visit to the big easy in February had them heading home without the Lombardi trophy. The Colin Kaepernick vs. Drew Brees air show will be explosive. Outside that matchup, each divisional game should be interesting as the NFC South is loaded with talent.

Postseason Prospects: With bounty-gate behind them and Payton back at the helm, the New Orleans Saints are ready for a fresh start and re-establish themselves as a championship contender. Expect the head-to-head winner between the Atlanta/New Orleans games to be the division winner. The loser will likely be a Wild Card team. Either way, the Saints should be playing football in January once again.

Coach Talk: "When you're struggling like we were defensively and struggling to run the football - those are signs to point to more difficulty for the quarterback. So, hopefully we've got that added dimension in the running game and a more balanced attack. Hopefully we're playing better defense. If you look back at ‘06, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11 - we were opportunistic on defense and we had some balance to what we did. I think that's been a good formula for us. When those get out of whack, there's more pressure on the quarterback, and you're asking him (Brees) to do more than you want," Payton says."
— New Orleans Coach Sean Payton

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