Now that the home games have been discussed for the Saints, let’s now flip to the road games. Nine games away from home with your usual three division games plus a pair of NFC North road games.
Here are three that stand out heading into the season:
Week 2 @ Carolina
A Monday night game against the #1 overall pick? What could possibly go wrong?
I don’t think I need to bring up the RG3 debacle in the Superdome (a whole lot of fun that was). However, the Saints notoriously struggle against rookie QBs and this will be an early opportunity for New Orleans to rattle the franchise centerpiece of a division rival. This means the defense will have to put together an excellent performance.
Bryce Young will come in ready for the next level after being under Nick Saban’s wing at Alabama. He will run a high-powered, talented offense with a high quarterback IQ, good footwork, and the ability to extend plays. Now that DJ Moore was traded in order to secure Young, the skill players are average for the Carolina Panthers, but a solid offensive line and Bryce Young make up for that.
The question will become whether or not the Saints' offense will be able to come out of the gate against Brian Burns and the Panthers' defense.
Week 3 @ Green Bay
This game against the Green Bay Packers will also be one to watch for several reasons.
The biggest one is that the weather won’t be a factor. Much better to go in September than in December at Lambeau.
But Jordan Love now runs the show, and although he’s not a rookie, it is his first time truly leading this Green Bay offense. What will they look like? How big of a role does Christian Watson hold now that Allen Lazard is gone?
Love had a strong career at Utah State as both a runner and a passer and then the one time you saw him start a game (Rodgers was out due to COVID), he looked really good. The thing will be if he can consistently look good for 17 games.
Defensively, the Packers has strong pieces with Rashan Gary, Quay Walker, and Jaire Alexander. Now you added an incredible rookie with Lukas Van Ness, and it’ll be fun to watch the Saints offense attack that group.
Week 10 @ Minnesota
The Minnesota Vikings.
Kirk Cousins must be thrilled that this game is at Noon.
Call me crazy, but I have a theory that a buddy of mine shared that Cousins can’t play well if the game isn’t at Noon, and he might be right.
Anyways, Cousins will lead a high-powered offense that includes arguably the best receiver in the NFL in Destrehan’s Justin Jefferson. However, it also has a lot of questions to answer.
The biggest one being: What happens with Dalvin Cook?
Cook has had 1000+ yard seasons each of his last four years to go along with 200+ receiving yards in each of those seasons. But his status with the team is up in the air as they had into OTAs.
Defensively, Danielle Hunter is due for a contract as well. He’s been an elite edge rusher for the Vikes, and at only 28, he has a lot of tread left.
Sure. you signed Marcus Davenport (you’re welcome), but is that going to be enough to let him walk? Also, a competition at cornerback will be something to watch.
Regardless of the outcome, I think these three games will be some of the best on the New Orleans Saints’ schedule. Football season is almost here, and it’s going to be a fun one.
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