Peter King says Saints and Bucs should not be NFL season opener
The Saints‘ 2021 schedule will be announced on Wednesday and no one would be surprised to see the Saints scheduled to play the Buccaneers in Week 1. This would be the NFL’s season opener due to the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl in February.
Peter King of NBC Sports, however, does not want the NFL’s season opener to be the Saints vs the Bucs, as he believes the game wouldn’t be competitive. His exact words were:
"To schedule the Saints or Bears or Giants here (all Bucs home foes this year) doesn’t seem smart because any of them could be a game that’s over by halftime."
That seems a bit harsh. Yes, the Saints are starting a new era now that Drew Brees is retired but this is still a competitive team, and let’s not forget — They pounded the Bucs in both regular-season games last year. The adrenaline of banner night is a lot for teams though and considering the Bucs hadn’t been Super Bowl champs in almost two decades, this will be a special night for Tampa.
If the Saints are scheduled to face the Bucs in Week 1, not everyone will be happy.
King went on to say in that article that he’d prefer Buffalo or Dallas face the Buccaneers in the first game of the NFL season. It’s interesting that he doesn’t believe the Saints could make it a competitive game but that the Cowboys could. Tampa vs Buffalo would be a fun matchup though, so I don’t blame him for wanting to see that one more.
Personally, I’d be fine with the Saints not being Tampa’s Week 1 opponent. While this team is still very good and should be able to keep up with the Buccaneers, only one team has taken down a reigning Super Bowl champion when the banners were unveiled and that was the Chiefs doing so to the Patriots in the 2017 season. Otherwise, it skews heavily in favor of the home team celebrating their Super Bowl victory over six months later.
New Orleans has a favorable schedule this year and because of that, it’d be nice to start off with an easier team and get the team’s confidence up a bit. Not having Brees in the building will be an adjustment so starting the season against “easier” teams is ideal. Facing the reigning Super Bowl champion probably isn’t the best way to start off a new era.
If the Saints are scheduled to be a part of the first game of the season, then they’ll try to spoil banner night for the Bucs.