There is perhaps no team in the NFL more all-in on the 2020 season than the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees is back for one last ride. Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins were brought in to replace younger players. Taysom Hill was given a monster deal to come back for another season, and Jameis Winston was given a smaller one to be Brees' primary backup. The Saints traded up three different times in the 2020 draft to land their player of choice, sacrificing pieces of their future in the process.
These types of moves are not necessarily out of the norm for this organization, but the degree and volume of win-now maneuvers leads one to believe that the Saints think this is their last, best chance at another title in the Brees-Sean Payton era. New Orleans looked like one of the top contenders last season, but they were upset in their first playoff game and saw their run cut short before it could even really get going.
As they attempt to make their way back to the playoffs and beyond in 2020, the Saints will face the following schedule.
- Week 1: Sept. 13 vs. Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 2: Sept. 21 at Raiders, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN, MNF)
- Week 3: Sept. 27 vs. Packers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC, SNF)
- Week 4: Oct. 4 at Lions, 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 5: Oct. 12 vs. Chargers, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN, MNF)
- Week 6: BYE
- Week 7: Oct. 25 vs. Panthers, 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 8: Nov. 1 at Bears, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 9: Nov. 8 at Buccaneers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC, SNF)
- Week 10: Nov. 15 vs. 49ers, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 11: Nov. 22 vs. Falcons, 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 12: Nov. 29 at Broncos, 4:05 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 13: Dec. 6 at Falcons, 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 14: Dec. 13 at Eagles, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 15: Dec. 20 vs. Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 16: Dec. 25 vs. Vikings, 4:30 p.m. (Fox/NFL Network/Amazon, Friday)
- Week 17: Jan. 3 at Panthers, 1 p.m. (Fox)
The Saints host Tom Brady and the division-rival Buccaneers at the Superdome in Week 1. This will be one of the most exciting matchups in Week 1.
The Pick Six Podcast gang fired up a new episode breaking down every eye-catching aspect of the NFL's schedule release. Give it a listen below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
As noted above in the schedule breakdown, the Saints will be playing five prime-time games in 2020. They will have two on the road (Raiders, Buccaneers) and three at home (Packers, Chargers, Vikings). The Saints played three prime-time games in 2019, going 3-0 against the Cowboys, Falcons, and Colts in night games. The first of those games was played with Teddy Bridgewater filling in under center for Drew Brees, while the latter two were after Brees' return to the lineup.
Will the Saints have enough firepower for one more Drew Brees Super Bowl run? Sportsline has you covered with game-by-game betting trends covering every angle you could want -- a full betting breakdown of the Saints' schedule.
Week 14-16: at Eagles, vs. Chiefs, vs. Vikings is the toughest stretch for New Orleans. A road date in Philly is never easy, and that the Saints have to follow it up with a national TV game against the reigning Super Bowl champions the following week makes it even tougher. Five days later, they host the Vikings on Christmas Day. Don't forget, Minnesota knocked New Orleans out of the playoffs last season.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage in 2019. The Saints will face only the 24th-toughest strength of schedule in 2020. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule, check out Breech's breakdown here.
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team's opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, the Saints' schedule looks much more difficult, ranking as the eighth-toughest in the NFL.