In their first game of the 2021 season, the New Orleans Saints face the Green Bay Packers. This game was supposed to take place in the wonderful confines of Caesars Superdome but due to Hurricane Ida, that wasn’t a possibility.
Instead, the Saints will play their “home opener” on the road, as this battle will take place in TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. Packers fans travel well and this could end up feeling like an away game for the Saints despite being a technical home game.
Even if this was set to take place in the Big Easy, I’d still feel comfortable marking this down as a loss for the Saints. Aaron Rodgers is returning after a tumultuous offseason and the Packers are going to be fired up to get him back to the Super Bowl for what could be the last hurrah for him in Green Bay.
Prediction: Saints 24, Packers 38
In their second game of the season, New Orleans faces divisional foe Carolina, a team looking to climb in year two of the Matt Rhule experiment. The Panthers had an eventful offseason, which was highlighted with the trading of Sam Darnold after Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t getting it done in Charlotte.
While the Panthers should have a healthy Christian McCaffrey this year, this is still very much a rebuilding team. As a result, this should be a winnable game for the Saints and their first of the post-Drew Brees era.
Prediction: Saints 30, Panthers 17