The 2019 NFL schedule was officially released on Wednesday night. Throughout the day, many of the scheduled games were leaked ahead of time. Fans and the media immediately began their speculations as to which would be the biggest matchups of the 2019 season.
As conference runner-ups in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints are sure to be considered in a number of those highly anticipated matchups.
For what it’s worth, the Saints are scheduled to be in four primetime spots, including Week 1 when they host Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football.
But which games on the Saints’ schedule would be classified as must-watch? Surely with one of the best offenses in the NFL, the Saints are one of the more exciting teams to watch all around. Some games, however, look to be more exciting than others. Playoff implications are sure to be a factor as well.
The Saints still believe that they were robbed in last season’s NFC Conference championship game and that it should have been them playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. They’ll have their sights set on completing the ultimate goal this season, leaving no doubts.
These five games are sure to have an impact if they are to be successful or not.
5. at Seattle Seahawks (Week 3)
This matchup will feature two of the best quarterbacks in the NFC in Drew Brees and Russell Wilson.
Although the Saints were 7-1 on the road in 2018, it’s been well known that they are more vulnerable away from the Superdome.
As tough as it is for teams to win in the Superdome, it’s equally as tough to win in Seattle. The Saints are going to have a tough go at it trying to defeat not only the Seattle Seahawks but the 12th man as well. The home team has won the last five meetings in this series.
They last met in 2016 during the regular season, but it was in 2014 when they last met in the playoffs. The Seahawks survived the clash, and they would go on to defeat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Although this game is early in the season it could have playoff implications down the road.
Should both teams possibly meet in the playoffs at some point, the winner of this matchup could indicate who receives home-field advantage for a potential matchup.
4. vs. Indianapolis Colts (Week 15)
It’s very fitting that a game featuring Brees and Andrew Luck would be saved for Monday Night Football.
The Saints have won the last three meetings between these teams. Of those meetings includes the Saints’ victory in Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 and a 62-7 thrashing just eight months later.
Luck was not yet a member of the Indianapolis Colts, however, when those meetings occurred. Neither was he involved when the two teams last met in 2015 as he was dealing with a pair of injuries.
Knowing what we know about both teams this game has the making for a shootout. Although they are in separate conferences, both teams will likely be looking at this game for playoff positioning.
And who knows? This could turn out to be a Super Bowl preview.
3. at Chicago Bears (Week 7)
This game could be a preview of the NFC Conference championship game.
The battle between the Saints’ high-powered offense and the Chicago Bears’ shutdown defense is sure to be an intriguing matchup. Led by Khalil Mack, the Bears possess arguably, the best defense in the entire league.
Chicago certainly believes they underachieved after a Cody Parkey missed field goal in the Wild Card round against the Philadelphia Eagles led to their elimination. In 2019, they will be considered Super Bowl contenders. In order to back up that claim, they’ll need to defeat teams like the Saints.
For the Saints, this game is a similar one to the Seahawks game. Once again they’ll be up against a potential playoff team on the road. Luckily for them, the weather conditions shouldn’t be too severe in October. Nonetheless, this will be a playoff-type atmosphere. The Saints will need to do all they can to come away with a victory.
New Orleans will not want to play the Bears at Soldier Field in January 2020 when those weather conditions are not so kind.
2. at Atlanta Falcons (Week 13)
For the second consecutive year, the Atlanta Falcons and Saints will meet on Thanksgiving night. This time, however, it will be in Atlanta. New Orleans won this game convincingly last year and completed the season sweep of the Falcons.
Atlanta will likely have something to say about that in 2019. Coming off of a disappointing 2018 season, the Falcons will be looking for redemption this time around. Getting back to the postseason means getting the best of your division rivals.
As is usually the case with these teams, this has all the makings to be a shootout. The winner of this game could be the benefactor in a possibly winning a division title.
This should be an exciting one for everyone to watch and probably even more exciting for those that play fantasy football.
1. at Los Angeles Rams (Week 2)
You can almost say with certainty that this is the game that Sean Payton and his team immediately circled when the schedules were released. Even though it will only be Week 2, don’t expect these teams to treat it like a regular season game.
This matchup will obviously follow the controversial conference championship game last season.
The Los Angeles Rams would go on to win in overtime after a blatant pass interference that should’ve gone against Los Angeles was missed. A call would’ve given the Saints 1st-and-goal for a potential game-winning touchdown. Instead, they were forced to settle for a field goal.
Head coach Sean Payton was outraged at the result and immediately disputed the missed call to the league following the game. The league agreed with Payton.
Many believed that it should have been the Saints in the Super Bowl and not the Rams. Judging by how the Rams played in the Super Bowl they have a strong case. Both teams were division winners last year so we knew this rematch was coming. Now we have a date.
This game will not be in a primetime spot, but you can rest assured that it will be the most anticipated game of week 2. This time it will be in Los Angeles.
It may still feel like a home game for the Saints, however, given the amount of support the Rams receive at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.