NEW ORLEANS - The NFL announced the 2013 regular season schedule Thursday and the New Orleans Saints will be featured in at least four prime-time nationally-televised games during the regular season, including two at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints will also open at home for the second consecutive season, when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 8 (noon CT).
New Orleans' first two prime-time contests will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, starting against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football on Sept. 30 (7:40 p.m. CT). On Nov. 10, the Saints will make their season debut on NBC's Sunday Night Football when they host the Dallas Cowboys (7:30 p.m. CT). The Saints' slot on the NFL Network's Thursday night package will be the first of two back-to-back prime-time games when they travel to the Georgia Dome to play the Atlanta Falcons (7:25 p.m. CT) on Nov. 21, followed by a Monday night game at the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 2 (7:40 p.m. CT).
Seven of the Saints' 16 games will be against teams that finished with a winning percentage of .500 or better in 2012, including games against four playoff opponents – Atlanta, New England, San Francisco and Seattle. New Orleans will play each of their NFC South rivals twice and will play one game each against each of the AFC East and NFC West teams.
"The schedule comes out and it's always a little different when the season starts," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "It's hard to look at the schedule now and begin to pencil in what teams are going to be like. A lot of times the game prior to when you play someone factors in. I look right away at the West Coast trips, traveling and the prime time spots. We are playing two very good divisions. When you talk about the NFC West, certainly they are the most improved division in football over the last couple of years. It's always a great time when people can get the dates and they can begin to plan, not only home games, but the away games they might want to go to."
The Saints will open the season with three out of four games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. After kicking off the regular season against the Falcons, they will then travel to Tampa Bay to stay in NFC South play to face the Buccaneers on Sept. 15 (3:05 p.m.). New Orleans will face their first NFC West opponent of 2013 when they host the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sept. 22 (noon CT) followed up by the Monday night contest against the Dolphins to close out the month of September.
The Saints will then travel to Soldier Field to face the Chicago Bears on Oct. 6 (noon CT), followed by a trip to Foxborough, Mass. to play the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 13 (3:25 p.m. CT). After a week seven bye, New Orleans will close out their October slate on Oct. 27 (noon CT), when they play their second straight AFC East opponent when they host the Buffalo Bills.
To open November, a month where the Saints have posted a 14-2 mark since 2009, New Orleans will travel to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. to play the New York Jets on Nov. 3 (noon, CT). New Orleans then hosts Dallas on Sunday Night Football at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 10, followed by another home matchup against the San Francisco 49ers (3:25 p.m. CT) on Nov. 27. New Orleans will then play Atlanta in prime time for the eighth time in nine seasons when they travel to the Georgia Dome to face the Falcons on Nov. 21, followed by the Monday night clash in Seattle after an 11-day break.
The Saints will play Carolina two times in three weeks, starting when they host the Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Dec. 8 (noon, CT), followed two weeks later by a trip to Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 22 (noon, CT). Other December contests on the slate include a trip to the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 15 (noon, CT) and then the regular season finale vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Dec. 29 (noon, CT).
2013 New Orleans Saints Regular Season Schedule
at New England
at New York Jets
at St. Louis
Home games in bold
1820 TV Road
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