2020 schedule proves Saints are one of NFL’s best
For the second time in as many weeks, the NFL has provided sports fans with hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In late April, the Draft allowed fans a moment of normalcy, as teams added young talent to their rosters. Yesterday, the league released its game schedule for the 2020 campaign. And what a reveal it was.
For the third consecutive season, New Orleans Saints fans are looking to a new season to wipe away the disappointment of the previous year’s exit from the playoffs. With Tom Brady’s surprise offseason move to Tampa Bay, previous backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater joining Carolina, and the enduring rivalry with the Atlanta Falcons, there will be heightened attention paid to the NFC South and its potential for drama. For that, the Saints have marquis positioning. New Orleans has only five of their 16 games scheduled for the traditional noon start. Four of their games are currently set for prime time. The remainder of their contests are set for Sunday afternoons, which often carry a national broadcast.
The Saints kickoff the season with a slew of high-profile matchups. The Bucs and Brady, who trails New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees in the race for career touchdown passes and yards, will travel to the Big Easy for a nationally-televised opening day matchup. They’ll go on the road in Week 2 for Monday Night Football against the Raiders in the NFL’s first game in Las Vegas. Week 3 features a Sunday night game against the Green Bay Packers, who were a game away from the Super Bowl last year.
This season, the NFC South plays teams from the NFC East and AFC West. The Saints play at Detroit in Week 4 and host the L.A. Chargers on Monday night in Week 5.
An early (too early) bye week comes in Week 6, before the Saints welcome former QB Bridgewater back to town in Week 7. They’ll travel to Chicago for an afternoon game in Week 8, then take on Brady and the Bucs in Tampa in a nationally-televised game on Sunday night.
Things get interesting in mid-November. The San Francisco 49ers, who battled the Saints for the top seed in last year’s playoffs, come to NOLA in Week 10 for an afternoon contest that could determine playoff seeding once again. The archrival Falcons come to town in Week 11. Then the Saints go on a three-week road trip after Thanksgiving to play in Denver, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
Head coach Sean Payton will remind the team that late December is the season of giving as the team closes out the season with two home games against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and, on Christmas, the Minnesota Vikings, who knocked the Saints out of the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. The Black & Gold will close the regular season at Carolina against the division rival Panthers.
The Saints are looking for their fourth consecutive NFC South championship. Because they’ve proven themselves as one of the league’s best teams, they’ve “earned” one of its hardest schedules. Without the pandemic in play, it will be an arduous season. With it, there are many unknown variables that could impact the schedule, the teams, and more. With these opponents, it may be tough for the Saints to post another 12-plus win season, however, I believe they’ve got the coaches and players in position to win the division again, qualify for the postseason, and make another push for a Super Bowl championship.
New Orleans Saints 2020 Schedule
In addition to their NFC South rivals, the Saints will take on teams from the NFC North and AFC West divisions in 2020. Of the team’s 16 regular season games, four are scheduled for prime time and seven are slated for afternoon broadcasts with a national audience.
|1||Buccaneers||Sept. 13||3:25 p.m.|
|2||@ Raiders||Sept. 21||7:15 p.m.|
|3||Packers||Sept. 27||7:20 p.m.|
|4||@ Lions||Oct. 4||Noon|
|5||Chargers||Oct. 12||7:15 p.m.|
|8||@ Bears||Nov. 1||3:25 p.m.|
|9||@ Bucs||Nov. 8||7:20 p.m.|
|10||49ers||Nov. 15||3:25 p.m.|
|12||@ Broncos||Nov. 29||3:05 p.m.|
|13||@ Falcons||Dec. 6||Noon|
|14||@ Eagles||Dec. 13||3:25 p.m.|
|15||Chiefs||Dec. 20||3:25 p.m.|
|16||Vikings||Dec. 25||3:30 p.m.|
|17||@ Panthers||Jan. 3||Noon|