The Saints season isn’t remotely close to being over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t peek in on next season. With the conclusion of games yesterday, we were able to figure out the home and away opponents for 2014, which look like this.
If you have trouble viewing the picture, this helps:
HOME: Green Bay, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Baltimore, San Francisco, Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay
AWAY: Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay
‘So, how in the world is this figured out,’ you may ask?
It’s rather simple. Every year, the Saints (and rest of the NFL) rotate the divisions in which they play in regards to the AFC. This season was the AFC East (Dolphins, Bills, Jets, Patriots) and the NFC West (49ers, Seahawks, Rams, Cardinals). If you recall 2009, we traveled to Miami and Buffalo, and hosted New York/New England. This season, we flip-flopped. So every four years, we’ll play the AFC East, meaning we won’t see them again until 2017.
Since we are one of the four divisions in the NFC, we play each division at least every three years. So the 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams were actually on our 2010 schedule. We traveled to Arizona and San Francisco, and hosted Seattle/St. Louis. Also in 2010, we played the AFC North, which consisted of @Baltimore, @Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.
Now, we flip-flop.
We played the NFC North in 2011. @Green Bay, @Minnesota, Chicago, and Detroit. So now it switches!
As far as the other two opponents you see, which are Dallas and San Francisco, what happens is two intraconference games are on the schedule, which is based on the prior year standings. So, since Dallas
choked lost and San Francisco didn’t get their wish with a Seattle loss, they finished out as second place. Since we already play the NFC North, that’s where this comes in. In 2010, we played at St. Louis (NFC West), and hosted the NY Giants (NFC East). Now it flip-flops.
We always play the Falcons, Panthers, and Bucs twice in a year, so there’s your other six games!
It’s as simple as that.
Coincidentally, we play the Cowboys for the fourth time in five years, and play the 49ers a third straight season at home.
The schedule will not come out until the Spring of 2014, and rest assured, we’ll get that to you as soon as we know!