Yesterday the NFL unveiled the 2011 regular season schedule for all teams in the league even though the lockout is still going strong. Many wonder why this was done since the players and teams can’t even speak to one another right now, but there is a very good reason. What fans fail to realize is that once the lockout is over, season activities will start right up so the NFL needs to do business as usual to not prolong things any further.
With that, we got the full schedule for the New Orleans Saints in 2011 and let me tell you that while it’s a rather tough line to go through, there are many big dates the Who Dat Nation can look forward to. Let’s take a quick look at what dates are going to be most anticipated by fans of the black and gold.
~ Thursday, Sep. 8 – 8:30 PM EST on NBC – @ Green Bay Packers
For the second year in a row, the Saints will open up the 2011 NFL regular season by playing on opening Thursday night. Only this time they are the “away” team in a game that will match up the last two Super Bowl champions. This is an excellent match-up and one that will truly get the season started off right.
~ Sunday, Sep. 18 – 1:00 PM EST on FOX – Vs. Chicago Bears
In 2006, the Saints lost 39-14 to the Bears at Soldier Field in the NFC Championship Game. In 2007, the Saints lost 33-25 in the final game of the regular season at Soldier Field. In 2008, the Saints lost 27-24 during the regular season at Solider Field.
I’d say it was due time the Bears traveled south and I’m sure a bit of revenge will be on the minds of Drew Brees and company. After this, there will only be more home game until the end of October so get your fix of the Superdome in while you can.
~ Sunday, Oct. 23 – 8:20 PM EST on NBC – Vs. Indianapolis Colts
Second primetime game of the season for the Saints and a rematch of Super Bowl XLIV…need I say more?
~ Monday, Nov. 28 – 8:30 PM on ESPN – Vs. New York Giants
Not only is this the third primetime game of the season for the Saints, but it is a remaatch of a game from the 2009 regular season that I’m sure the Giants haven’t forgotten about. During the Saints’ Super Bowl season, the Giants were victim number five en route to a 13-0 start for New Orleans and it wasn’t pretty for the boys in blue. Revenge has to be on their minds after the 48-27 beatdown they received in the Dome.
~ Sunday, Dec. 18 – 1:00 PM EST on FOX – @ Minnesota Vikings
For two straight years the Saints have plated the Vikings in the Superdome and for two straight years, the Vikings have walked out on the losing end. This year the Saints will travel up to Minnesota, but it’s going to be a different looking Viking team as old number 4 will not be behind center…at least we don’t think he will be.
~ Monday, Dec. 26 – 8:30 PM EST on ESPN – Vs. Atlanta Falcons
The fourth primetime game of the season for New Orleans might be the biggest one of all as this could determine the NFC South. It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be crazy. And it’s going to be the day after Christmas so you know the city of New Orleans will be in good cheer and what better way to ring in the new year then by defeating the dirty birds?
A full schedule analysis will be coming soon and of course every single game is important, but these are the six that I’m looking forward to the most. My honst opinion is that getting through this series of six games unscathed or even with a 5-1 or 4-2 record could lead the way to a very successful regular season for the Saints.
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