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More Reasons to Like the Saints' 2011 Schedule

After reviewing the Saints' 2011 interactive schedule (available here), two things add to my already optimistic view for the season*. First, we only face one team coming off of a bye week and that's the Bucs in week 9 when they visit us in the Dome. When an opponent has an extra week to rest and prepare for you, it usually makes them harder to get a win against. We'll only have to face that situation once this year and it'll be a home game. Although, the Bucs have beaten us at home each of the last two seasons, so that home-field advantage may not help. Last year's loss to them was a big surprise, but their win in 2009 came when the Saints had little to play for. Plus, we would have beaten them had Garrett Hartley not shanked a late field goal.

Secondly, the Saints won't be logging a lot of frequent flyer miles in 2011. Their longest road trip will come when they travel to Minnesota in week 15. Since they face the AFC South and NFC North, they'll rarely have to leave the Central Time Zone. Less travel time may help them keep their edge throughout the season*. Speaking of travel time, two weeks before the Bucs visit us in week 9, they'll have to travel to London and face the Bears, so that bye week mentioned earlier may not help them that much.


*Season may not actually happen.