The entire NFL schedule has just been released, courtesy of our friends at NFL Network.
The Saints have a daunting task before them this 2009 season – currently sitting on the 8th toughest schedule in the league. The Saints opponent set last season combined for 142 wins verses just 113 loses, a .557 wining percentage.
Facing the likes of the Giants, Patriots, Cowboys, Eagles, and of course the rival Panthers. None of which are easy teams to play, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As long as the Saints stay the course and keep building up the defense they will no doubt offer a supreme challenge to any team. We can only hope they draft on the defensive side of the ball and stay away from the ever tempting power back that Sean Payton dreams of.
Hopefully new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams really is the magic man – a tough road lies ahead for the black and gold.
So the New Orleans Saints 2009 schedule is:
Week 1- Sun. Sep. 13: Saints vs Lions 1:00 PM (Home Game)
Week 2- Sun. Sep. 20: Saints at Eagles 1:00 PM
Week 3- Sun. Sep. 27: Saints at Bills 4:05 PM
Week 4- Sun. Oct. 04: Saints vs Jets 4:05 PM (Home Game)
Week 5- Sun. Oct. 11: BYE Week
Week 6- Sun. Oct. 18: Saints vs Giants 1:00 PM (Home Game)
Week 7- Sun. Oct. 25: Saints at Dolphins 4:15 PM
Week 8- Mon. Nov. 02: Saints vs Falcons 8:30 PM (Divisional, Home Game)
Week 9- Sun. Nov. 08: Saints vs Panthers 4:05 PM (Divisional. Home Game)
Week 10- Sun. Nov. 15: Saints at Rams 1:00 PM
Week 11- Sun, Nov. 22: Saints at Buccaneers 1:00 PM (Divisional Game)
Week 12- Mon. Nov. 30: Saints vs Patriots: 8:30 PM (Home Game)
Week 13- Sun. Dec. 06: Saints at Redskins: 1:00 PM
Week 14- Sun. Dec. 13: Saints at Falcons 1:00 PM (Divisional Game)
Week 15- Sat. Dec. 19: Saints vs Cowboys 8:20 PM (Home Game)
Week 16- Sun. Dec. 27: Saints vs Buccaneers 1:00 PM (Divisional, Home Game)
Week 17- Sun. Jan 03: Saints at Panthers 1:00 PM (Divisional Game)
The Saints this year get an opportunity to open the season at the Superdome, are split equally with home games and away games at 8 a piece, and have back to back home games twice (Weeks 8 -9, 15-16).
Aside from this being a horribly tough schedule it seems that what ever happens after Week 8 will determine the Saints playoff hopes. All of their divisional games are after week 8, in fact 6 of their last 10 games are divisional games.
A strong start is a must for New Orleans, but equally important is how they finish down the stretch.Why the NFL has bunched all of their divisional games at the end of the season no one will ever know – lets just hope the Saints get to work hard and fast.