Recapping another crazy New Orleans Saints offseason

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Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Travaris Cadet (38) and outside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) and wide receiver Willie Snead (83) celebrate as they walk off of the field following their win against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Saints won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Travaris Cadet (38) and outside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) and wide receiver Willie Snead (83) celebrate as they walk off of the field following their win against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Saints won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

Schedule Takeaways

To the delight of fans across the globe, we found out how the Saints would stack up this season in terms of their matchups in April with the league’s schedule release. We knew about their opponents for some time, but the schedule allowed us to better position where the black and gold could fare in 2016.

Two prime time games

You can look at this as either a good thing or bad thing, as it’s quite disappointing that the New Orleans Saints will only be on the national stage twice this season. Keep in mind, the NFL has the ability to flex matchups starting Week 5 of the regular season. With Brandon Browner returning to Seattle coupled with Jimmy Graham, Week 8 could be one to watch out for.

Opening at Dome

It’ll be the first time since 2013 that the Saints will kick things off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Let this graphic set the tone for why the New Orleans Saints must come out firing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 2.52.58 PM
Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 2.52.58 PM /

Aside 2011, the Saints have been miserable when they can’t produce a victory in the season opener. Through their first three games of the season, a loss has produced a combined 3-12 record, where a victory has favored a 12-3 combined record. It essentially sets the tone for the team.

The early bye week

It’s not ideal, but the Saints will play their first four games of the season and then take a week off in Week 5. In 12 straight games, you can fully expect some lingering and nagging injuries to grow and have some key pieces miss out on the action. For the sake of a team that desperately needs to rebound, let’s just hope it’s not the major players.

Frequent Flyer Miles

By my count, I have the Saints traveling an estimated 16,832 miles in 2016. For perspective, the 2015 team went 11,942 miles in their travels. Several trips out west to Arizona (1,335 miles), San Diego (1,621 miles), and San Francisco (1,943 miles) dominate the team’s travel plans. The good news is that the team will get some breaks.

  • Week 2 to New York followed by Week 3 at home
  • Week 4 to San Diego followed by bye week
  • Week 9 to San Francisco followed by Week 10 at home

Three of the last four games will be on the road, as the team draws the Buccaneers, Cardinals, and Falcons.

A true midseason test

On paper, the Saints will be tested from their bye week on. They’ll have five of six games that feature playoff teams from last season (Panthers twice, Broncos, Seahawks, and Chiefs). Regardless of how the black and gold start, it’s between Week 6-11 that could make or break their bid for a playoff run.

Next: Burning questions

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